Getting Preston in festive spirit by candlelight

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Four hundred people braved driving rain to join the annual LEP Carols by Candlelight service at Preston Minster last night.

The BBC’s Young Chorister of the Year, Louisa Stirland, took centre stage at St John’s Minster in Church Street, Preston, for the event which started at 7pm with Once In Royal David’s City.

Festive spirit: Carols By Candlelight at Preston Minster

Festive spirit: Carols By Candlelight at Preston Minster

Vicar of Preston, Fr Timothy Lipscomb, led the service.

He said: “It’s a great opportunity for the people of Preston to come together and share the Christmas story and sing their hearts out.

“It’s the only opportunity some people have of sharing the meaning of Christmas, and this is a safe environment to do it in.”

The service also featured performances by the Company of Voyces, Preston Community Choir and Lea Endowed School Choir, alongside Bible readings.

This year, the chosen charity to benefit from generosity of service-goers was Preston Guild Link, which aims to help people seeking funding to put on sport and arts events at the next Preston Guild.

Evening Post editor Gillian Parkinson said: “It’s been a wonderful evening. It’s great to get the people of Preston all together, and it’s something we look forward to doing every year.”

The High Sheriff of Lancashire and the Mayor of Preston Coun Veronica Afrin will be among the guests.

Poundbakery provided mince pies afterwards.

Before the service, a production of the children’s opera Amahl and the Night Visitors took place at the Minster.

The story of the Three Wise Men on their journey to visit the infant Jesus was a memorial concert to the late Rosemary Jolly MBE, of Preston parish Arts and Education Trust.