Kirkby Malham Church to host TV carol service

Craven Herald: STAR: Kirkby Malham vicar Rev Michael Jackson with Aled Jones.  Picture by ITV photographer Justin Slee STAR: Kirkby Malham vicar Rev Michael Jackson with Aled Jones. Picture by ITV photographer Justin Slee

The 15th century church at Kirkby Malham has been chosen as the venue for ITV’s Christmas Eve carol service.

And the collection from the service will be used to launch an appeal to fund roof repairs at the Church of St Michael the Archangel.

More than 200 people packed into the building – known locally as The Cathedral of the Dales – for the filming of the traditional candelight service.

The programme – which will be broadcast at 10.15pm – is a celebration of family and community spirit at Christmas and will highlight the work carried out by rural organisations and support groups.

It will be introduced by well-known broadcaster and former prizewinning chorister Aled Jones and, in between the singing of carols by the congregation, there are performances by guest artists, including tenor Russell Watson, Richard and Adam from TV programme Britain’s Got Talent, choirboy Jack Topping and Emmerdale’s Natalie Anderson.

Lesson readers include Paul Heiney from Countrywise and Gaynor Faye from Emmerdale.

Jason Lowe, from Giggleswick School, plays the organ and is accompanied by brass players from the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. The St Michael’s Choir is supported by singers from Skipton Camerata Choral Society, Sutton-based KVU Singers, Rock Up and Sing, Buckden Singers and Grassington Singers.

St Michael’s newly-appointed vicar, the Rev Michael Jackson, who gives a Christmas message in the programme, said: “It was a very enjoyable evening for all who attended.

“Although it felt a little strange at first singing carols in this way just as we are about to begin Advent, it did in fact give us all a helpful reminder of what lies at the end of the season of Advent when we will celebrate the joy and hope of Jesus’s birth.”

Meanwhile the church faces a big financial challenge as it needs to raise more than £60,000 for roof repairs.

“This is a daunting sum to raise,” said Mr Jackson. “But we have to be positive and work hard to maintain the fabric of our magnificent old church which is such a focal point of life in Malhamdale.”

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