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Speaker’s Chaplain and chart-topping vicar to join Christian Aid’s advent carol service

21 November 2014 - The Speaker’s Chaplain the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin and chart-topping vicar the Rev Richard Coles will be joining award-winning musicians for an evening of song and seasonal reflections at Christian Aid’s 2014 Advent Carol Service in west London, on 4 December.

The two vicars are among a number of prominent names participating in Christian Aid’s annual Advent service at St Mary Abbots in Kensington, where they will appear alongside leading soprano Grace Davidson, acclaimed conductor Nigel Short and his renowned Tenebrae Choir.

Starting at 7pm, the free service is being held in partnership with the Church Times, and will raise money for Christian Aid’s 2014 Christmas Appeal, which highlights maternal and child healthcare in countries such as Kenya.

As well as readings, carols and musical performances, the Advent service will feature a sermon by the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who is also a Chaplain to the Queen.

The Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin said: “It is a delight to be able to join Christian Aid for their special Advent service at St Mary Abbotts. This marks the start of their Christmas Appeal, which this year will focus on maternal healthcare in Kenya.

“Many of us here in Britain take it for granted that we will have excellent health care throughout pregnancy and delivery; not so for our sisters in Kenya where there are often many obstacles – cultural and financial – to overcome.

“The Christmas story, which sees Mary struggling to find a place to give birth and ending up in a stable, is like a mirror held up to us: a mirror that should help us to see our sisters in Kenya; a mirror that should inspire us to reach out and make a difference.”

The event will feature a reading from broadcaster the Rev Richard Coles, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live show and the only British vicar to have had a number 1 hit, as half of the 1980s’ pop duo The Communards.

Carols at the service will be led by award-winning conductor Nigel Short and his Tenebrae Choir, who have released 19 albums and who won the BBC Music Magazine Award for Best Choral Group in 2012. Featured soloist Grace Davidson, whose voice can be heard in blockbuster films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Prometheus, will also sing at the seasonal service.

Christian Aid’s Chief Executive Loretta Minghella will lead the event, which will be followed by a festive Fairtrade reception.

Paul Langley, Head of Inspiring Participation at Christian Aid, said: “Christian Aid is delighted that the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin and the Rev Richard Coles will be helping us host what promises to be a wonderful evening of Advent music, carols and readings.

“We’re equally thrilled that The Tenebrae Choir will be providing the soundtrack to our traditional service. We hope people from all walks of life will join us as we come together on December 4 to usher in the Advent season.

“Tickets are free, but any money raised during the collection will go towards Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal. These funds will help our partners to deliver vital healthcare to mothers and babies in impoverished countries around the world.”

The UK Government will double every pound donated to Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal between November 7, 2014, and February 6, 2015, up to a value of £5m.

To book your free ticket for Christian Aid’s 2014 Advent Carol Service visit: www.adventcarolservice2014.eventbrite.co.uk or email: events@christian-aid.org. To find out more about Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal, visit: www.christianaid.org.uk/christmas


For more information contact Tomi Ajayi on 0207 523 2427. Twenty-four hour press duty phone: 07850 242950.

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended:  this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk


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