Fellside churches get into the festive spirit

Front row of the chorus
Front row of the chorus
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THE five Fellside churches of Barton, Bleasdale, Bilsborrow, Goosnargh and Whitechapel, led by team rector Rev Jeff Finch, organised their popular annual carol concert at Barton Grange Garden Centre.

The restaurant area was transformed into a ‘cathedral’, accommodating more than 450 people.

Tickets were all sold three weeks before the event, such is its popularity.

Carolyn Johnson, chair of the organising committee, said: “The concert starts the Christmas season, with local people coming to have fellowship and fun, while singing traditional carols, listening to professional singers and enjoying mince pies and mulled wine afterwards among the plants and decorations of the garden centre.

“It really brings the community together.’’

After the warm-up singing by the Fellside Choir, the St George’s Occasional Singers were guest performers.

The choir, which draws its members from the Parish Church of St George the Martyr in Preston, sang superbly and created a participative audience atmosphere under their acclaimed conductor Howard Seymour.

The money raised was divided between two charities – Vine House and Croston House – specifically for their unique bereavement service for children, and the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy for children with disabilities.

The Bishop of Lancaster, Geoff Pearson, gave the final message and blessing, and thanked the Topping family at Barton Grange for their generosity in providing the venue and refreshments on their busiest day of the year.