Ipswich: Town embraces Christmas spirit at Star’s Concert of Carols

Joyous sounds of Christmas filled the air as hundreds gathered to enjoy an evening of carol singing.

The Evening Star Concert of Carols was a 400-strong sell-out at Ipswich’s civic church, St Mary-le-Tower.

The congregation, from across the greater Ipswich area, sang traditional carols and in so doing raised hundreds of pounds for charity.

Proceeds of a collection will go to the Ipswich Lighthouse Women’s Aid, which is supported by both the Star and radio station Town FM.

A young soloist from the church choir started the yuletide festival with a rendition of Once in Royal David’s City.

The service, which over the decades has became a major part of the Christmas tradition in the town, included readings from Town 102 presenter Nick Pandolfi, Jan Ingle, of Ipswich Hospital, and Suffolk police’s county commander, chief superintendent David Skevington.

Welcoming guests, Evening Star Editor Nigel Pickover said: “This is a very special evening in Ipswich’s seasonal calendar – a chance for us all to be together showing the importance of community in Ipswich.”

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He added: “Last year we raised funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind – and Robson, our fourth guide dog puppy, is now walking the streets in his training sessions.

“Proceeds of this year’s Concert of Carols collection go to the Ipswich Lighthouse Women’s Aid – an appeal we are delighted to join in alongside our friends at Town FM.”

The event was part of our Christmas appeal, aiming to raise �15,000 for Ipswich Lighthouse Women’s Aid.

The charity has helped in excess of 3,500 women and 5,000 children since 1976. The funds raised will help to provide a fully-equipped log cabin at the rear of one of the refuges for the older children.

Although the refuges provide playrooms and communal lounges, there is no specific area for older children to hang out. A log cabin will provide these children with their own space.

The congregation also enjoyed complimentary mince pies, which were donated by Sainsburys.

n Star editor Nigel Pickover presented a cheque for �7,500 to councillor John Le Grys, mayor of Ipswich. The money was raised at this year’s Evening Star Press Ball and is now set to benefit the mayor’s charities – the Ipswich Resource Centre and the Mayor’s Inclusion Fund.