Young singers delight audience with carol service at South Shields church

Angelic voices lit up a chilly day as dozens of children took part in a carol concert involving children from schools across the North East.

The Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust , which has 30 schools across South Tyneside, Sunderland and East Durham, held a carol service featuring a choir and orchestra comprised of pupil representatives from across the whole region.

The Trust said the service, held at St Bede’s RC Church in South Shields, provided an excellent opportunity for staff, pupils and their families, as well as local communities across the Trust to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

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It included a mixture of pupils reading from the gospel and singing hymns and carols.

Sienna Thompson, a year five pupil from St. Matthew's Catholic Primary School in Jarrow, was thrilled to be among those taking part in the event.

"It's been fun to be part of the carol service,” she said.

“It's nice to meet pupils from other schools.

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“We have really improved since our first rehearsal and I was excited for my parents to see."

Liz Boylan, the lead chaplain at Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, described the event as “quite something”, and was full of praise for everyone involved.

“It was absolutely amazing,” she said.

“When you think we brought all those schools together, who don’t normally sing together and for them to perform so beautifully – it was just brilliant.

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“The students all went away with big smiles on their faces, as did the parents and staff and it was just a lovely occasion.”

Liz is already planning for next year’s event - although there will be several more nativity plays and carol concerts for her to attend this year, before the Trust’s schools break up on December 23.

She said: “After the first Trust-wide carol concert, we want to keep the momentum going, as it’s really nice seeing the students and staff mix with people from different schools, that they wouldn’t ordinarily mix with.

“The staff love coming together and really enjoy it – it makes them feel like part of a family.”