FAMILIES and friends are invited to celebrate the start of the Christmas season at a service this weekend.
The News’ annual Carol Service is taking place on Sunday at St Mary’s Church, in Fratton.
I would urge everyone to come along to share in the service - the more the merrierFather Bob White
Every year, hundreds of people pack out the church, off Fratton Road, to sing along to carols and listen to readings.
Father Bob White, from St Mary’s Church, said: ‘This service is something we always look forward to holding every year.
‘It is a great opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate the Christmas story but also the life of the local area.
‘I would urge everyone to come along to share in the service – the more the merrier.’
Like past years, choirs from Portsmouth schools will be performing, with Newbridge Juniors, Penhale Infants and Manor Infants welcomed this time. They will also be singing alongside the church choir for a unique performance.
Christingles will also be handed out as part of the service.
Father Bob added: ‘The Christingles symbolise the meaning of Christmas in a different way.
‘It is a very poignant moment when the candles of the Christingles are lit, the lights turned off and everyone sings.
‘This spreads the message of light conquering the darkness.’
Editor of The News, Mark Waldron, said the service is a great way for families to celebrate Christmas.
‘With lots of singing and lovely readings, the service has something for all the family,’ he said.
‘It is a great opportunity for families and friends to gather and start their Christmas celebrations.’
The service, which was also organised with the Southern Co-operative, starts at 3pm.