Junior choir concert marks Darlington Citadel 144th birthday

published on 29 Aug 2023

Darlington 144 anniversary

The Salvation Army in Darlington celebrated its 144th birthday with an inspirational junior choir concert.

The church and charity in Thompson Street East first opened its doors in 1879 and has been serving the community ever since.

To mark the milestone anniversary, members of the church and public were invited to Darlington Citadel church for a Saturday evening concert featuring Gateshead Salvation Army Junior Choir and the Young Person’s Band.

Major Shirley McKenzie, who leads Darlington Citadel, said: “We were delighted to welcome so many people to help celebrate our church anniversary – 144 years of worship, witness and mission in the town.

Darlington 144 anniversary

“The weekend was a great success. On Saturday evening, young people from Gateshead Salvation Army Junior Choir under the leadership of Bethan Kakande performed an inspirational concert. Their singing was enthusiastic and to set our celebrations off to a fine start, they let off party poppers during one of their opening songs. The programme included a range of songs sharing the message of Jesus.

“We also had the recently formed Young People's Band play for us with solo performances on the saxophone, tenor horn and cornet.”

The music was followed by a reflection and gifts of chocolate.

Shirley continued: “The following morning Sunday Worship was led by Majors Maurice and Lynda Hunt, of Sunderland Monkwearmouth Church, with the message of the service to shine our light brightly as we move into the future of Darlington Citadel church.

Their singing was enthusiastic and to set our celebrations off to a fine start
Major Shirley McKenzie

“This was a chance not only to reflect on the history of The Salvation Army in our town, but to celebrate the work we continue to do in the community. Although of course things have changed since 1879, our ethos of Love God, Love Others continues and we show that by putting faith into action and providing practical support for our community.”

Bethan Kakande, junior choir leader, said: “It was such a wonderful evening and our junior choir did a great job. They had a great time too and were well looked after by Darlington Salvation Army.”

Each week, Darlington Citadel Salvation Army hosts a Connect group for older people with guest speakers on Tuesdays, a food bank and hot food drop in on Friday evenings, a coffee morning each Saturday and Sunday Worship. They also host a regular messy church for youngsters.


Salvation Army officer having a cup of tea with a service user

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