On Christmas Eve, the Anglican Bishop of Leeds and the Mayor of Calderdale will join with carol singers at the Piece Hall in Halifax, for open-air carol singing around the Christmas tree helping to raise money for the Children’s Society which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
New technology will be used for the first time alongside the traditional Christingle orange sweets and candles to help encourage donations. A large electronic Christingle mounted on a plinth will automatically light up and dispense sweets whenever a donation is made to the Children’s Society using contactless payment.
The Piece Hall, Halifax Minster and the Children’s Society have joined forces for the carol singing event. Singing around the Piece Hall Christmas tree will be led by the Choir of Halifax Minster and begins at 12.30pm on Christmas Eve.
The Rt Revd Nick Baines, and Calderdale Mayor, Marcus Thompson, will both speak in support of the work of the Children’s Society, urging members of the public to give generously at Christmas.
It’s the 50th anniversary of the Children’s Society, which is working with more than a million children and young people. Volunteers will give out unique 50th anniversary baubles (pictured) to mark the anniversary and to say thank-you to those who donate.
Joanne Nicholson from The Children's Society, is one of the event organisers. She says, “This is a very special year for the Children’s Society. For 50 years Christingle collections have helped our work with vulnerable young people, but a million more are living with serious problems in their lives today.
“For a young person who has never experienced the joy of Christmas, a Christingle event and donation can make a real difference and give them someone to turn to.”
At the Piece Hall, a traditional bucket collection will be used alongside the very latest in technology for donations. The Children’s Society and Halifax Minster volunteers will have two hand held card terminals to accept contactless donations as well as collection buckets.
At the end of the carol singing event in the Piece Hall, at 1.15pm, donkeys will lead a procession to Halifax Minster. The Minster choir and clergy will join the procession reasdy for the first of three Christingle services, at 1.45pm, 3pm and 4pm.
Music at the Halifax Minster Christingle services will be led by the Elland Silver Youth Band, there will be a real donkey, and children will be able to light their own Christingle. The event is free and all are welcome, whether regular church-goers or not.
“All children are invited to dress up and join in the Nativity, coming as an angel, shepherd, or a King,” said Vicar of Halifax Minster, Canon Hilary Barber.