Full voiced support for SARS

PEWS were packed at St Margaret's Church, Ipswich, for the Evening Star's charity Christmas carol concert.The congregation braved freezing temperatures to make their way to church but hearts were soon warmed as the singing began.

PEWS were packed at St Margaret's Church, Ipswich, for the Evening Star's charity Christmas carol concert.

The congregation braved freezing temperatures to make their way to church but hearts were soon warmed as the singing began.

Reverend Canon David Cutts reminded singers of the serious side to the event – raising money for the Evening Star's Save a Life appeal.

And they responded magnificently, raising more than £500 on the night.

The aim of this year's campaign is to fund state-of-the-art communications equipment for the volunteer doctors of Suffolk Accident Rescue Service.

SARS doctor Colin French thanked the congregation for their efforts.

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He said: "It's nice for us to meet you, but you don't want to meet us."

The accident rescue doctors were also represented by honorary treasurer Stewart Young, who gave one of five readings during the service.

Other readings were given by chief superintendent Geoff Munns, Tina Vickers, assistant district commissioner for Suffolk Beavers, Peter Moore, headteacher of Sprites Junior School and Carolyne Morey, from Disability Care Enterprise.

And those who so often need the help only those doctors can provide – the ill and the injured – were remembered as Rev Cutts led the church in a Christmas bidding prayer.

Throats were well and truly loosened during a lusty rendition of the first offering of the night – Once in Royal David's City.

The rest of the agenda read like a top-ten rundown of Christmas favourites, including Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

St Margaret's choir tackled some rather more testing numbers on their own and the crowd's caroling was interspersed with five Gospel readings retelling the greatest story ever told.

And from there, it was back out into the freezing night, but full of Christmas spirit.

* To find out how you can shop and help Suffolk's heroes see p11

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