Dereham is on song to help the homeless

More than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive in Dereham to enjoy a community carol service to

More than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive in Dereham to enjoy a community carol service to raise money for the Salvation Army - Credit: Harry Peek

Community spirit shone brighter than the Christmas lights in a Dereham cul-de-sac on Monday night when people from across town came together to sing carols and raise money for a good cause.

More than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive in Dereham to enjoy a community carol service to

More than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive in Dereham to enjoy a community carol service to raise money for the Salvation Army - Credit: Harry Peek

More than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive for its community carol service, raising £775 for the Salvation Army.

The street, off Norwich Road, has become famous for its festive lights display with every house participating in a sparkling spectacle which has been visited and loved by old and young since they were switched on at the beginning of December.

Resident Matthew Peek spoke to the EDP ahead of the carol service and said normally they would expect three or four hundred at most to turn up to the event.

But after it was featured in the paper and word spread the eventual number was more than double what they anticipated.

More than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive in Dereham to enjoy a community carol service to

More than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive in Dereham to enjoy a community carol service to raise money for the Salvation Army - Credit: Harry Peek

Dereham Town FC made its car park available for the evening and it was full well before the carol service started. The Salvation Army Band played and there were mince pies on offer as the congregation sang and enjoyed the lights.

Social media was awash with praise following the event with comments such as 'fabulous community spirit' and 'lovely evening, so Christmassy'.

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Last night Mr Peek said they could never have believed that it would receive such a response.

He said: 'On behalf of The Salvation Army, thank you for supporting our work with the homeless and vulnerable people of Norfolk who use our drop in centre in Pottergate, Norwich, (The Arc) and with whom we share hot food and drink every night of the year on the Soup Run.

'To put things in perspective, £775 would fund the Soup Run for a whole month!'

He added: 'It is just great to be part of a community which knows what it is to join together for common purposes and share with others something of what we have.'

* Have you organised a charity event? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk