Everyone’s welcome at The News’ Christmas Carol Service

PACKED The News Christmas Carol Service at St Mary's Church in Fratton last year.' 'Picture: Sarah Standing (114268-4571)

PACKED The News Christmas Carol Service at St Mary's Church in Fratton last year.' 'Picture: Sarah Standing (114268-4571)

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FAMILIES and friends are invited to a festive church service organised by The News.

The annual News Family Carol Service takes place tomorrow in St Mary’s Church, Fratton Road, Fratton.

Everyone is welcome to the service, which starts at 3pm and features school choirs and a reading from actor and panto star Rob McVeigh.

Rob, who is playing Prince Valentine at this year’s King’s Theatre pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, will be doing a reading the Story of the Shepherds from Luke’s Gospel.

He said: ‘The story was picked for me, but I’ve read it a couple of times and think it’s great.

‘I feel honoured to be a part of something that’s so special to people.

‘It will be nice to see everyone there and I’m looking forward to it.

‘I love Christmas time and being in panto is always fabulous.

‘And of course it’s always fun to open presents.’

Choirs from Newbridge Junior, Penhale Infant, Manor Infant and Arundel Court Junior schools, will all be performing.

Father Bob White is inviting people to join in.

He said: ‘We have a reading from our panto star Rob.

‘And The News gardening expert Brian Kidd is reading The Three Wise Men.

‘We’ve got our four schools singing and then coming together with the church choir. As ever, we will also have a Christingle.

‘This spreads the message of light conquering the darkness.

‘Each child gets a candle and an orange to symbolise this. Everyone is invited to the free service, which will also have a charity collection.’

This year’s collections will go towards gift vouchers for the homeless within the city, and those living on the edge of society.

‘We need to think about how we can bring some light into the darkness for these people,’ added Father White.

‘The more the merrier on the day is great.’

· For all things festive, go to portsmouth.co.uk/christmas

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