Celebrities help Salvation Army bring Christmas online
published on 30 Nov 2020
The Salvation Army is pulling out all the stops to bring Christmas cheer to the nation with a star-studded online Christmas At Home concert this year.
Dame Judi Dench, Strictly Come Dancing Judge Craig Revel Horwood, and actor Lee Mead are just some of the celebrities taking part in the annual event on 2 December, which would usually be held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and is known as one of the capital’s official starts to Christmas.
With things looking a little different this year, the church and charity is determined to bring festive joy and hope in a socially distanced way, launching an online concert featuring stand out performances by The Salvation Army’s premier band and choir the International Staff Band and Songsters from previous years, as well as messages from supporters highlighting the work The Salvation Army has done to help rough sleepers, struggling families and isolated older people through the pandemic.
The 94-minute extravaganza, which will be available online anytime from 8pm on Wednesday, will include readings from actors Lee Mead, known for playing Joseph in the west end play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Colin Salmon, Susie Blake and Patricia Routledge as they tell the Christmas story.
Contributions will also come from Dame Judi Dench and HRH Princess Eugenie, who will talk about her visits to a Salvation Army safe house and food bank this year.
Speaking of the concert, west end star Lee Mead, said: “I have a long connection with The Salvation Army and am so proud to be supporting them again with their Christmas at Home concert in what has been such a challenging year for us all.
“The work they do all year round is amazing, particularly at Christmas, which can be a tough time for the homeless and the vulnerable.
“Although it’s sad we can’t all come together at The Royal Albert Hall as we usually would, the online carol concert is sure to get people feeling festive, so I hope you can join us!”
Compered by Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant the show will kick off Advent with performances of Comfort and Joy, The Holly and the Ivy and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, to name a few.
There will also be performances from Classical Reflection and Alison Blackhall, Tenors Unlimited and Farringtons Children’s Choir and singer Charlie Green.
Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant, said: “Usually we would be inside the historic Royal Albert Hall joyfully welcoming 5,000 people to a Christmas celebration with The Salvation Army. By now we would also be playing carols on high streets and shopping centres across the UK.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have kept cooking hot meals for rough sleepers, stocking our foodbanks for struggling families and visited isolated and vulnerable people. We were determined to ensure we delivered Christmas too which is why we are making our annual carol extravaganza online this year.
“Christmas offers the opportunity for us all to be thankful for all that we still have and so we invite you to join with us as we welcome in Christmas - to our homes and our hearts.
“Even though Christmas may well look very different in 2020, there’s still so much to treasure as we think about the coming of Jesus at this special time of year.”
Thanking the staff running Lifehouses, our supported accommodation for homeless people, director and choreographer Craig Revel Horwood said: “These centres were never designed for lockdown, but the staff who have kept the Lifehouses open and Covid safe are our real heroes. This has been a super human task and it’s not over yet. Thanks to each and every one of you.”
Also contributing will be Jason Donovan, who also played the title character in Joseph the musical, who said: “I’m delighted to send a message of thanks to The Salvation Army for the support they have shown the people of the UK and Ireland throughout the pandemic. During this extraordinary period many elderly people, children and families have depended on The Salvation Army for support. They bring food, essential supplies and most of all they bring friendship.”
The annual concert brings together many Salvation Army supporters, members, and those who simply want to start the Christmas season in true festive style. Donations from the concert will go towards The Salvation Army’s work with those who are most vulnerable and support this year’s Christmas Appeal.
If you would like to give to The Salvation Army call 0800 083 6644 or donate online.