On 6th December in the beautiful St Simon’s Zealots church in Chelsea we kicked Christmas off in style with our fabulous Christmas carol concert – now in it’s 5th year. Adrian Bawtree yet again organized a wonderful service – some said the best-ever!
We were entertained with music from The Edmunds Sisters, a hugely talented female vocal trio who began with spine-tingling traditional Christmas music but then had us rocking in the aisles to ‘Santa Baby’ and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas’.
Reading for us this year we were so fortunate to be joined by TV personality Anthea Turner, award winning author Rhidian Brook and acclaimed actors, Lloyd Owen and Samantha Spiro who captivated us all.
Our chosen charity to support this year was Key4Life based in London and the South West. Their mission is to reduce re-offending by youths leaving prison.
They have an incredible success rate delivering an innovative programme to young men aged 18-26 in prison and those at risk. They never give up on an individual and through their unique combination of boosting emotional resilience, employability, mentoring and family support, a young man is four times less likely to re-offend and four times more likely to be employed if he has gone through the Key4Life programme.
Noel Williams who works with the Centre for Social Justice spoke passionately about this life-changing project. He moved us all as he told us a little of his own life-story; as an ex-offender his life was changed by a similar organization who supported him into education and gave him a second chance at life.
The congregation gave generously and LiveTwice doubled the amount the collection raised. After several glasses of warming mulled wine and home-made mince pies we went out into the cold night feeling inspired and very Christmassy.