Gallery: Carols bring Christmas nearer

SOUNDS of Christmas filled the air as hundreds gathered for The Evening Star carol service.

SOUNDS of Christmas filled the air as hundreds gathered for The Evening Star carol service.

There was standing room only at St Margaret's Church in Ipswich last night as people of all ages got together to celebrate the Christmas story and mark the start of the festive season.

Sprites Infant School Choir did a brilliant job of starting the proceedings singing a number of traditional songs as people took their seats.

And year six pupil Ben Robinson brought the general arrival hubbub to a halt with his fantastic solo of the first verse of Once in Royal David's City.

The building was lit with candles giving a real festive feel as the church choir made its entrance, singing a number of songs throughout the service, in between readings of the Christmas story.

Marilyn Watsham, deputy principal of Suffolk New College and assistant principal Catherine Forsdike both did readings along with Evening Star Editor Nigel Pickover,Sue Gipps, Evening Star sales and marketing manager and Lynn Turner, promotions and merchandising manager.

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The Suffolk Deaf Association Choir was also on hand and performed during each carol sung by the congregation.

This year's concert was raising money for the The Evening Star's Christmas appeal A Star is Born which was launched to raise £10,000, the cost of training a puppy to become a Guide Dog for the Blind.

The money raised will pay for our special puppy Star to be fully trained and help a blind person live an easier life.

And the little puppy became the star of the show, meeting people in the congregation as the collection plates were passed around.

During the collection, two performing arts students from Suffolk New College, Sian Keen and Sharon Preece entertained the congregation by singing Christmas Lullaby by Jason Robert Brown.

The hour-long service led by Rev Canon David Cutts was a great way to get in the festive spirit while remembering the real reason behind the celebrations.

Star editor Nigel Pickover said: "As always we have had a fantastic turn out and an excellent evening.

"It was wonderful to see so many people there for what has become a really important part of the festive calendar.

"A big thank you to all those who helped to organise the event and to those who put their hands in their pockets to boost The Evening Star's Christmas appeal."

Did you enjoy the service? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email

Star puppy's panto role - see page 11.

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