A packed Norwich cathedral celebrated the annual Norfolk emergency services carol service last night.

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Traditional hymns including Away in a Manger, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and O Come, All Ye Faithful were heartily sung by the congregation.

And readings were given by the three heads of the emergency services, Phil Gormley, chief constable, Norfolk Constabulary, Nigel Williams, chief fire officer, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, and Hayden Newton, chief executive officer, East of England Ambulance NHS Service Trust.

The prayers were led by The Very Rev Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich, who included those suffering through the economic austerity measures in his thoughts.

And Rev Paul Whittle, moderator of the eastern synod of the United Reformed Church, gave the address and urged people to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

A collection was taken in aid of the Liam Still Foundation, which was set up by the family of Liam Still, a 21-year-old from Sprowston, who died after he crashed his car while driving home on the B1108 Watton Road at Bawburgh, in the early hours of Saturday, May 19. He was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but died from his injuries five days later.

Following his death, Liam’s family set up the foundation to support various charities and initiatives that benefit young people, particularly in sporting activities.

Every year a different charity will be chosen to receive a large percentage of the funds raised that year, with the remaining funds to go to local initiatives. The chosen charities for 2012 are Norwich-based Nelson’s Journey, which supports young people who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life, and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust in Cambridge, in particular the neurosciences critical care unit where Liam was treated.

The service also included performances by the Taverham Band, the Emergency Services Choir and the Viva Voce Singers.

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