A gold medal winning Paralympic star is encouraging people from across Halifax and West Yorkshire to attend one of three special services for the 50th anniversary of The Children’s Society Christingle.
Hannah Cockroft MBE is going to a service at Halifax Minster on Monday 24th December, there will three services at 1.45pm, 3pm and 4pm.
The Paralympian will join others from across the county to help raise vital donations for the charity.
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Hannah said: "I have been attending Christingle since I was a child and have always loved the service. It is a wonderful occasion and I am very excited to be getting involved with this year's special 50th anniversary for The Children's Society.
"Knowing the money we raise will help young people throughout England get support this Christmas, and throughout the year, only makes it more important that as many people as possible come and enjoy this years’ service."
The Christingle service originated in the Moravian Church in Germany. In 1968 John Pensom of The Children's Society adapted Christingle and introduced it to the Church of England as a way to help disadvantaged children and young people. By 2003 one million people were attending Christingle services each year.
Christingle is now celebrated in hundreds of churches, schools and communities from December right through to Candlemas on 2nd February. The occasion is named after the Christingles, the oranges that are lit during the service and decorated with a candle, red ribbon, dried fruits and sweets on cocktail sticks, which represent different parts of the Christian story.
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The Christingle services in the Minster are being led by Revd. Canon Hilary Barber following Carols around the Christmas tree from 12.30pm at The Piece Hall with guest Right Reverend Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, the Mayor of Calderdale and Halifax Minster Choir who will take to the stage just before the donkey led procession into the Minster.
‘Chris Tingle’, a contactless donation machine that gives out sweets once you donate will also make its first appearance at The Piece Hall, then be moved on to the Minster.
The Children’s Society Chief Executive, Matthew Reed said: “The Christingle fundraising tradition is a lifeline for the charity and we’re enormously grateful to Hannah and all our supporters for helping us to work with more than a million children over the last 50 years.
"Sadly, there are a million more young people living with several serious problems in their lives today and we hope that our 50th anniversary services will go some way to supporting them. Because no child should feel alone at Christmas.”
The money raised through Christingles for The Children’s Society helps to provide direct support to vulnerable children and young people who may be living in poverty, experiencing mental health issues, living in care or just about to leave the care system or at risk of sexual or criminal exploitation.