Jermain Jackman, the winner of BBC One’s ‘The Voice’, wowed the crowds with his rendition of ‘O Holy Night’ at the annual Parliamentary Carol Service on Tuesday this week. The event, hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, was held in the beautiful surroundings of Westminster Hall, within the Houses of Parliament. MP’s, peers, staff and visitors gathered for the lunchtime concert, organised by The Salvation Army.
Jermain said, ‘This is my first Salvation Army carol service, but not my last. I will be coming back next year and the following years!’
‘Christmas means so much. It’s a wonderful time to know that you’re loved and you’re cared for and that you love and care for others as well. It’s my favourite time of the year!’
During the service, Commissioner Clive Adams, leader of The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland, led the prayers and members of our International Staff Band were on hand to lead everyone in the carolling. When asked if The Salvation Army was an important part of the service, Mr Bercow, The Speaker, said ‘‘The Salvation Army is absolutely fundamental. Without the Salvation Army band, it wouldn’t be the event it is. It would be an agreeable little concert, but it’s the fact that The Salvation Army are here that makes it what it is. They are precious, not just in the run up to Christmas but throughout the year, because they put duty first.’
The event was created in 1983 by Lord Foster of Bishop Auckland, a member of The Salvation Army and former MP. Veteran Conservative MP, the Right Hon Peter Luff, who has attended many of the parliamentary carol services, said the service was ‘one of the highlights of Christmas’.
To see the gallery of this event please click here and you can read more about this story in our edition of The War Cry, out on 20 December.
Photo credit: Nigel Bovey