Christmas Story spreads joy online

Hospice swaps church pews for sofas to bring the event home.

Photo montage of faces

The choir of St Elisabeth's, Reddish, performed virtually for A Christmas Story Service.

Following the success of the first Christmas Story service at St Elisabeth’s Church, Reddish, in 2019, organisers at Francis House were set to stage a second event in 2020.

Sadly, the Coronavirus pandemic brought the concept of a public event at the church to a sudden end.

In common with church choirs throughout the UK, members of the renowned choir of St Elisabeth’s were unable to perform together as a result of the virus and the staging of A Christmas Story in the same format was impossible.

Undeterred and with the help of Rev’d Angie Stanton, the Rector of St Elisabeth’s, members of the choir, Stockport Schools’ Brass Bands and the Francis House choir, a virtual version of ‘A Christmas Story’ took place on Friday, December 18.

“The choir were delighted to have the opportunity to sing Christmas carols again. They all recorded their voices independently and these were then blended together to form a choir.”

Susie Poppitt, event organiser and Choir Director of St Elisabeth’s Choir

Special guests

With a selection of readings and poems read by special guests including: Sir Warren Smith, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, actor John Thomson and Antiques Road Trip regular Margie Cooper, supporters were treated to an evening guaranteed to get them into the Christmas spirit.

The virtual service featured a selection of Christmas carols and was followed by an additional album of Christmas music on Christmas Eve.

Susie added: “Huge thanks are due to Rev’d Angie Stanton, Rev’d Alison Mitchell, Church Warden, Tony Rivron, Stockport Schools’ Brass Bands and their musical directors, the Choir of St Elisabeth’s and Friends, organist Richard Brocklehurst, Francis House Choir, and Kevin Whitter and the team at Blaze Marketing.”

The ticketed event was enjoyed by an online audience watching from the comfort of their own homes and raised £700 for the hospice that provides care and support to the families of children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

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