Folk get festive at Preston Minster candlelight service

Carols by Candlelight concert at the St John's Minister.

Carols by Candlelight concert at the St John's Minister.

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Dozens of people turned out for the annual LEP Carols by Candlelight service at Preston Minster last night.

The special service saw The Company of Voyces Choir, Lea Endowed School Choir and Bruce McLaren, of the Preston Musical Comedy Society, take centre stage at St John’s Minster in Church Street, Preston.

Lea Endowed Primary School choir perform at the Carols by Candlelight concert at the St John's Minister.

Lea Endowed Primary School choir perform at the Carols by Candlelight concert at the St John's Minister.

The event started at 7pm with Once in Royal David’s City and other carols included O Little town of Bethlehem, Away in A Manger and While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks.

This year’s service also featured Silent Night sung in German to commemorate the 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

The vicar of Preston, Fr Timothy Lipscomb, led the service.

He said: “This is something that people always look forward to. They ring me up asking when it is going to be. Some times it’s people’s only experience of the Christmas story and it gives them an opportunity to be nostalgic, sing carols and sing their hearts out.

“It’s nice for the community to come together. It’s a community carol service, it’s the coming together of Preston.”

The service also featured readings from Evening Post Editor Gillian Parkinson, Jo Turton, chief executive of Lancashire County Council, and Tim Joel, from Preston Council.

Gillian said: “The Carols By Candlelight service has once again been wonderful. I am delighted the Lancashire Evening Post is involved.”

This year, the chosen charity to benefit from generosity of service-goers was Heartbeat.

Preston-based Heartbeat needs to raise £37,000 to make its move to the former National Football Museum at Deepdale a reality. The charity provides rehabilitation, education and research for heart patients in Lancashire.

The Deputy Mayor of Preston, Coun Margaret McManus, and Lancashire County Council leader Coun Jennifer Mein were among the many guests at the service.