‘Forget John Lewis – this is the start of Christmas’ – The News Carol Concert returns on Sunday

Newbridge Junior school pupils with their Christingles at The News Christmas carol service at St Mary's Church, Fratton in 2012'Picture: Paul Jacobs  (123976-14)
Newbridge Junior school pupils with their Christingles at The News Christmas carol service at St Mary's Church, Fratton in 2012'Picture: Paul Jacobs (123976-14)
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EVERY YEAR one of the city’s churches is full to the brim for The News’ annual Christmas Carol Concert.

Father Bob White said: ‘The concert is a time for people to gather with friends and family and reflect on the message of Christmas.

Father Bob White at The News Carol Service in 2015'Picture: Paul Jacobs (151891-2)

Father Bob White at The News Carol Service in 2015'Picture: Paul Jacobs (151891-2)

‘I think people can get lost with all the festivities nowadays and lose that original message of the Christmas story but as with our Comfort and Joy Campaign it is a time to think about helping our neighbours and those less fortunate than ourselves.’

The concert will feature choirs from four local schools as well as more than 250 traditional Christingles which will be handed out for a candlelit performance of Away in A Manger by the whole congregation.

Fr White said: ‘We usually have around 450 to 500 people and it is a truly wonderful ceremony to be at and I would love for more people to come along and sing with their community..

‘I think my favourite part every year is when we turn the lights out and sing in the dark as it a magical moment.’

Ellis Doba from Newbridge Junior School in 2014.'Picture: Sarah Standing (143487-1479)

Ellis Doba from Newbridge Junior School in 2014.'Picture: Sarah Standing (143487-1479)

Editor Mark Waldron said: ‘It is a wonderful opportunity for all the community to come together and reflect on the year that has passed and look to the year ahead.

‘The carol service is such a joyous occasion and really marks the start of Christmas for me.

‘Forgot the John Lewis advert The News’ Carol Concert is where Christmas starts.’

The concert is on Sunday at St Mary’s Church, Fratton Road, PO1 5PA.

The service will begin at 3pm and for information visit 

portseaparish.co.uk/event/the-annual-news-carol-service/