Carol singing raised money for two local charities

Basingstoke Gazette: Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker MBE lends his support at carol event Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker MBE lends his support at carol event

SPECIAL guests, including a legendary Radio 2 DJ, were among a festive audience who enjoyed the biennial Carols by Candlelight event held in aid of two local charities.

Johnnie Walker MBE gave a reading at last Thursday’s event, held to support St Michael’s Hospice and the Basingstoke hospital-based Pelican Cancer Foundation.

The DJ has been lending his support to Pelican for many years, after he was helped by the charity during his successful battle with colon cancer.

He was one of several special guests at the event, held in St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke.

Other guests included The Right Rev Peter Hancock, Bishop of Basingstoke, Lord Bernard Ribeiro CBE, Mrs Liz Lang, chaplain of St Michael’s Hospice, and the Countess of Portsmouth.

They each gave a special reading from an abridged version of A Christmas Carol, between them telling the whole story.

Choirs from Fairfields Primary School, in Basingtstoke, and St Mary’s C of E Junior School, joined the Winchester Singers to perform popular carols, and all of those gathered were also able to join in with renditions of several festive favourites.

Sarah Crane, chief executive of Pelican Cancer Foundation, said the event had been a great success.

She added: “It is a really lovely event and we’re very grateful to everybody’s support. Although the event is free, we raise money through donations and everyone was very generous this year.

“The church looked beautiful by candlelight, and hopefully everyone who came along really enjoyed it.”

Iain Cameron, director of income generation at St Michael’s Hospice, thanked The Friends of St Michael’s Hospice, who helped to organise the event.

He said: “We hope the event will have raised around £1,000 and we are grateful to those who organised it.

“This is just one of many fundraising events which the Friends of St Michael’s Hospice help to organise for us every year. We very much rely on fundraising events.”

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