Photo gallery: Festive cheer at Carols at Christmas service in Norwich’s St Peter Mancroft Church
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2013
Festive cheer and seasonal song filled one of Norwich's magnificent churches during a special candlelit service celebrating the spirit of Christmas.
The Norwich Evening News Carols at Christmas took place at St Peter Mancroft Church last night and saw about 300 people gather for the event.
'Welcome to St Peter Mancroft and these wonderful, peaceful and historic surroundings,' said editor Nigel Pickover as the service began.
'This is the Evening News Carols at Christmas service and we are thrilled to be here at St Peter Mancroft Church... in our great city of Norwich.'
He also encouraged people to remember those less fortunate than themselves as the countdown to Christmas begins, in particular those affected by the recent floods – for which the Evening News's sister paper has launched the EDP Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal – and also those young people in need of support from the Mancroft Advice Project for which Carols at Christmas was raising funds.
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Canon Peter Nokes led the service and spoke of how Christmas was a time for bringing light to others.
'Christmas is a time where we try to show light in the darkness.
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'The birth of the Christ child was the entry of light in the dark world,' he said.
Once in Royal David's City was the first Christmas carol to be sung, followed by O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night! Holy Night!, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night, In the Bleak Midwinter, and O Come, All Ye Faithful.
The evening's choir was made up of the Choral Scholars of the Church of St Peter Mancroft and conducted by director of music Jody Butler.
The organ was played by Julian Haggett, organist of St Peter Mancroft.
Festive jazz numbers were also mixed into the musical programme with renditions of Christmas classics such as Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! played by Norwich Jazz Club.
The story of Christmas was also told through readings given by Mr Pickover and other members of the Evening News editorial team – managing editor Tim Williams, head of news Ian Clarke and feature writers Stacia Briggs and Derek James.
All proceeds from the night are being donated to the Mancroft Advice Project, a counselling and advice service for young people up to the age of 25.
For more about the Mancroft Advice Project visit www.map.uk.net