THE sound of seasonal music and thoughts of goodwill to all sent festive spirits soaring last night at the Yorkshire Evening Post’s traditional Christmas carol concert.
Hundreds of well-wishers gathered in the majestic Leeds Minster last night to officially start the countdown to Christmas.
The landmark building was plunged into darkness for a poignant moment so that all those attending could appreciate the full effect, as the grand Christmas tree lights were switched on and the festive celebrations got underway.
ITV’s Duncan Wood brought humour and laughter to the packed pews as he read the poem Gabriel’s Message by Godfrey Rust.
And the congregation came armed with thoughtful and lovingly-wrapped presents which were placed under the sparkling tree to ensure that underprivileged children from across the city would receive an extra special gift this Christmas.
Hundreds of brightly decorated gifts took pride of place as young children were given the opportunity to put their own contributions under the tree
The moving service was led by Canon Sam Corley as more than 700 people packed into the landmark Leeds city centre church.
The Minster was filled with the sound of music as the congregation joined in with a series of classic Christmas hymns accompanied by the choir and the Yorkshire Evening Post’s very own brass band.
Carols sung included O Little Town of Bethlehem and Hark the Herald Angels sing and there was also a sentimental moment when the Minster Choir sang Lully, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child.
Yorkshire Evening Post editor Nicola Furbisher said: “The Christmas carol service is a truly wonderful opportunity to get into the festive spirit and see families from across the city come together to celebrate the festive season.
“It was brilliant to see hundreds of readers gather in the beautiful Minster to mark this special occasion.
“It was incredibly touching to see so many people leave presents underneath the tree for vulnerable people across the city.
“Everyone here tonight has done the city proud.”
After the service, Rev Corley added: “It has been great to get together as a city for a night which is for many of us, is seen as the start of Christmas.
“It was not only an opportunity to celebrate but also to give to the most vulnerable people in our society.
“And for us here that is exactly what Christmas is all about.”