CHIL­DREN’S SO­CI­ETY

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Rob Jack­son

THIS year has seen a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant 50th an­niver­saries here in Greater Manch­ester - from the end of cot­ton trad­ing at Manch­ester’s Royal Ex­change to my per­sonal favourite, Manch­ester United be­com­ing the first English win­ners of the Euro­pean Cup.

But the land­mark birth­day on my mind as the Christ­mas sea­son gets ever nearer is a na­tional an­niver­sary be­ing marked by The Chil­dren’s So­ci­ety.

In 1968 our char­ity’s first ever Christ­in­gle ser­vice was held at Lin­coln Cathe­dral, the brain­child of fundraiser John Pen­som.

Christ­in­gle ser­vices en­cour­age chil­dren to make the Christ­in­gle – the iconic or­ange dec­o­rated us­ing red rib­bon, cock­tail sticks, sweets and a can­dle, each high­light­ing dif­fer­ent parts of the Chris­tian story.

Christ­in­gle has gone from strength to strength over the decades and is an im­por­tant part of The Chil­dren’s So­ci­ety’s part­ner­ship with The Church of Eng­land, which ● Rob Jack­son be­gan when our char­ity was founded by a Sun­day school teacher in 1881.

It is now our big­gest fundrais­ing event and the money gen­er­ously do­nated en­ables us to sup­port chil­dren and young peo­ple through­out the year.

For too many vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple, Christ­mas Day is a day like any other, feel­ing alone and fac­ing the same chal­lenges and wor­ries.

The Chil­dren’s So­ci­ety be­lieves no child should feel alone and, through our 50th an­niver­sary Christ­in­gle cam­paign, we want to change that.

Last year’s Christ­in­gle raised nearly £1.1m, in­clud­ing more than £17,000 from 17 ser­vices across Manch­ester Dio­cese.

Here in Greater Manch­ester, we helped more than 1,100 chil­dren and young peo­ple in 2017-18, in­clud­ing chil­dren miss­ing from home or care and young un­ac­com­pa­nied refugees.

I see di­rectly how we change the lives of chil­dren feel­ing alone and un­able to cope.

Now as we cel­e­brate this mile­stone year, we hope Christ­in­gle will be big­ger and bet­ter than ever, en­abling us to sup­port more chil­dren in des­per­ate need of help.

I’m ex­cited to tell you about a new piece of mu­sic cre­ated spe­cially to mark the an­niver­sary, which will be per­formed at some of the ser­vices.

The song, Light a Can­dle, was com­posed by Louise Drewett, a stu­dent at the Royal Academy of Mu­sic, and the words have been writ­ten by poet Clare Shaw.

You can hear the Christ­in­gle song, search for ser­vices reg­is­tered near you and find out more at www.chil­drens so­ci­ety.org. uk/christ­in­gle.

If you’ve not been to church for a while, or have never been, a Christ­in­gle ser­vice is a fan­tas­tic rea­son to visit and of­fers a mem­o­rable fam­ily spec­ta­cle. But above all it is a won­der­ful way to help us sup­port some of Greater Manch­ester’s most vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren. We couldn’t do it with­out you.

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