Night of festive magic at one of Norwich’s oldest churches

The Norwich Evening News Carols for Christmas candlelit night of carols and music at St Peter Mancro

The Norwich Evening News Carols for Christmas candlelit night of carols and music at St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

It was a candlelit spectacle that saw one of the city's oldest churches filled with festive spirit.

Hundreds gathered inside St Peter Mancroft Church last night for the Norwich Evening News Carols for Christmas service.

And once again the event raised money for a very worthy cause – the Mancroft Advice Project, which supports young people in Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

As guests settled into their seats with a candle in hand, Norwich Evening News editor Nigel Pickover welcomed everyone to the service.

He started by praising the work of the emergency services, following a fire in Great Yarmouth in the early hours of yesterday morning.

'In the early hours of today, our fire and rescue service saved three lives, two adults and a child,' he said.

'It highlights three important things our fire service do. One, is the importance of smoke alarms. These are vital and really do save lives.

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'The second was the work of the fire control room, and thirdly, it shows how important it is for us to protect our fire service from cuts.

'I am very grateful for the work they do to protect our county at every turn and we are fighting hard to save our service.

'We see these proposed cuts as wholly and totally inappropriate.'

Fire, ambulance and mental trust staff were sitting in the audience last night.

It was the angelic voices of the church's choir that began the service, with a rendition of Once in Royal David's City. The audience, who were holding candles to illuminate the church, was invited to join in with the carol.

Jody Butler, director of music, conducted the choir, while Julian Haggett played the organ. In between the hymns, readings from the bible were given by the Rev Robert Avery.

Roy Harold, chief fire office, and the EDP's head of news Ian Clarke, also read passages during the service.

Last week saw the EDP's own carol service take place inside the stunning 15th century setting of St Andrew's Hall.

The event aimed to support the EDP We Care Appeal, which raises money for the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers.

St Peter Mancroft Church has

a variety of events lined up during the week. On Thursday, there will be a lunchtime carol service at 1.10pm, followed by a Christmas concert on Saturday at 6pm.

On Christmas Eve, the church will also host a pantomime carol service at 11am and midnight mass at 11.15pm.

Are you organising a community Christmas event raising cash for charity? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.