Salvation Army spreads festive cheer to celebrate light ceremony for London’s famous Christmas tree

published on 7 Dec 2017

The Salvation Army was pleased to support Westminster City Council at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Trafalgar Square, London, yesterday evening (Thursday 7th December). 

For the eleventh year running, members of The Salvation Army's Regent Hall church band accompanied the carols while volunteers with the North London Division Emergency Response Vehicle handed out hot drinks and biscuits for the massed crowds who braved the cold evening to watch the Christmas lights switch-on.

The ceremony was attended by The Salvation Army's Territorial Leaders for The United Kingdom and Ireland Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams. Other attendants included the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Ian Adams, The Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, The Norwegian Ambassador, HE Mona Juul and The Deputy Mayor of London, Joanne McCartney AM.

During his speech, the Lord Mayor of Westminster gave his thanks to The Salvation Army band members and the volunteers who were spreading festive cheer among the crowds.

As well as plenty of carol singing, there were performances from St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir, speeches from both the Westminster and Oslo mayors and poetry read by children from St. Joseph’s Westminster Primary School.

By tradition, the Norwegian tree is donated by Oslo to the people of London for their help and support during the Second World War.  The Agency for Urban Environment at the City of Oslo (Bymiljøetaten) is responsible for providing the Christmas tree to London.  The Norwegian spruce is 21 metres tall and 70 years old. The tree is decorated in a traditional Norwegian style with vertical strings of lights – around 900 energy-efficient light bulbs are used, a total of 400 metres of cable. The tree is one of remembrance as opposed to celebration hence the lower key lighting and decoration compared to other parts of Westminster. The Christmas tree remains in Trafalgar Square until the morning of Friday, 5th January.