School children take part in community Christmas service

PARENTS from across Portsmouth were left as proud as punch as they watched their children take a starring role in The News annual Christmas carol service.

Sunday, 4th December 2016, 7:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 5:02 pm
Vicar Canon Bob White (161352-1)

The celebration was held at St Mary’s Church in Fratton.

This year, around 500 people packed the church for the service, which included a reading from The News gardening expert Brian Kidd.

And quiz show fanatics got to see ITV’s The Chase star Anne Hegerty, who is starring in the pantomime Jack And The Beanstalk at the King’s Theatre, which starts tomorrow.

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Penhale Infants pupils (161352-3)

Father Bob Wright, vicar of St Mary’s conducted the service.

Midway through, he played a game in the same format as The Chase based around Bible teachings.

Editor of The News Mark Waldron gave a speech.

Children from Newbridge Junior School, Arundel Court Primary, Manor Infants and Penhale Infants took part in the service, singing hymns.

The Chase's Anne Hegerty, who is starring in The Kings Theatre's panto gave an address (161352-5)

Margaret Jane, 72, from North End, attends the service every year.

She said: ‘It was lovely. I used to always bring my children and grandchildren all of the time.

‘I love to see all of the children performing.

‘There’s a great atmosphere and it sets you up for Christmas.’

Arundel Court Primary pupils (161352-6)

Friends Margaret Cooper, 82, 
and Violet Marsh, 86, travelled from Milton.

Margaret said: ‘The service was excellent.

‘It was lovely to see all of the children singing and everybody getting together, young and old.’

Tom Coles’ two daughters, Ellen and Kiera, took part in the service from Penhale Infants.

Hundreds of people went to The News Christingle service at St Mary's Church in Fratton (161352-17)

Tom said: ‘Ellen had a bit of stage fright before.

‘We would definitely come back again next year in where I think is the heart of Portsmouth.’

Father Wright said: ‘The service went very well.

‘There’s always a sense of celebration from the service and the meaning of Christmas in the community.

‘St Mary’s is a wonderful space and we love to share it with as many people as we can over the festive season.

‘It gives people a chance to sit back, think and reflect.’

Eleni Rosic from Penhale Infants School Pictures Ian Hargreaves (161352-19)
Penhale Infants pupils (161352-3)
The Chase's Anne Hegerty, who is starring in The Kings Theatre's panto gave an address (161352-5)
Arundel Court Primary pupils (161352-6)
Hundreds of people went to The News Christingle service at St Mary's Church in Fratton (161352-17)
Eleni Rosic from Penhale Infants School Pictures Ian Hargreaves (161352-19)