Help light up the lives of vulnerable children

Posted on: January 24th, 2017

Revd Kate Bottley Christingle Newcastle CathedralNearly 400 pupils from local primary schools will join a Christingle service celebrating Candlemas and the supporting the work of The Children’s Society at 1.00pm at Newcastle Cathedral on Thursday 2nd February.

Local people are welcome to join the festivities and money raised will go towards providing life-changing support to the vulnerable children supported by The Children’s Society.

In Newcastle, these include children who go missing, those affected by sexual exploitation, and refugee families, while support in the Tees Valley includes help for vulnerable families, such as restorative justice sessions for youth offenders, intensive support and family mediation.

People in Newcastle are being urged to help transform the lives of some of the UK’s most vulnerable children by supporting the service, which is led by Canon Clare MacLaren and incudes guest speaker the Revd Kate Bottley (pictured left), known for her appearances on hit TV show Gogglebox.

Christingle services include singing and storytelling for children and adults and revolve around children creating Christingles – an orange decorated with red ribbon, cocktail sticks, sweets and a candle, each highlighting different parts of the Christian story.

Across the country, around one million people attend Christingles at thousands of churches from November until Candlemas on February 2, the day on which the church commemorates the presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple as a festival of light.

Pupils have been taking part in fundraising activities through their schools, and on the 2nd February will take part in pre-service activities at the cathedral including making Christingles, arts and crafts and learning about The Children’s Society.

Christingle has been celebrated to raise funds for The Children’s Society for 48 years. The charity worked with more than 18,000 children in 2016 with the help of the generous donations made at Christingles. The Children’s Society is aiming to match the £1.2m it raised in 2015/16 through this winter’s services, which were launched by Eastenders actress June Brown (‘Dot Cotton’).

Helen Whiteley, Regional Fundraising Manager for The Children’s Society in the North East, said: “We are thrilled to be holding this Christingle service at Newcastle Cathedral and involving so many local school children.

“Not only are our Christingles a memorable spectacle, they help The Children’s Society to transform the lives of the most vulnerable children in our society, both in the North East and across the country, and to ensure their voices are heard.

“We are enormously grateful for the support of the Church of England, local schools, members of the public, and both The Revd Kate Bottley and June Brown – both in supporting the dozens of Christingles already held this winter across the North East, and in helping us ensure this new service is a success.”

At the Cathedral, Clare MacLaren said: “We are really excited to be hosting this Christingle service. We will be welcoming almost 400 children and the amazing Kate Bottley so it’s going to be quite an adventure!

“Behind all the fun lies a serious message, though – raising funds to support the crucial work of The Children’s Society with some of the most vulnerable kids in our society. The Christingle candles symbolise the hope which drives their work – and our prayers for a good childhood for every child.”