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Bishop of Penrith to help lead worship at BBC Radio Cumbria Christmas Carol Concert

The Bishop of Penrith is to help lead worship during a specially-recorded BBC Radio Cumbria Christmas Carol Concert.

The Rt Rev’d Robert Freeman has been invited to talk on a thought for Christmas.

More than 400 people are due to attend the ticket-only event at St Andrew’s Church in Penrith on the evening of Wednesday 4 December.

Bishop Robert said: "I'm delighted to have been asked to be involved in this year's BBC Radio Cumbria Christmas Carol Concert. The event draws people from right across our county for a wonderful act of seasonal worship.

"It demonstrates the tremendous community-centred spirit which abounds in our churches across Cumbria and it is great to be involved in the year when BBC Radio Cumbria celebrates its 40th birthday.

"In a time when figures have shown a worrying decline in the number of people who know of the Christmas story, events like this help us to reinforce our key message that Christmas starts with Christ."

The service will also involve pupils from Beaconside CE Primary in Penrith as well as music from the orchestra of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and the ladies of the Penrith Singers.

After several years without one, BBC Radio Cumbria chose to resurrect their Christmas Carol Concerts last year at St Mary’s in Dalton in Furness.

Mark Elliott, managing editor of BBC Radio Cumbria, said: “The response from the listeners was overwhelming and there were numerous calls for more events like it.

“As part of our 40th birthday celebrations, we decided to hold a ‘Big Sing’ in the marquee at the Keswick Convention in July. Well over a thousand people attended – more evidence that we just had to repeat a Christmas event.

“Again, we’ve had a great response and a high demand for tickets, and I know that people will be travelling from right across Cumbria so they can be part of it. Events like this are really uplifting and help to get us all in the Christmas spirit, and they are always a lot of fun.

“The broadcast of the concert will be one of the highlights of the Christmas schedule, and I’m sure many members of the audience will be listening to see if they can pick out their own voice!”

The service is being recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio Cumbria on Christmas Eve and twice on Christmas Day.

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For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434 or at carlisledco@gmail.com.

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