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Community carols event hosted online by Great St Mary's Church watched in 800 homes

A community carols event on Christmas Eve was watched in more than 800 homes and raised more than £600.

The event was hosted by Great St Mary’s Church after the annual Carols on Fair Green service held by the Rotary Club of Sawbridgeworth was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was streamed live on the church’s website and featured carols sung by the choir under musical director David Wood, who has regularly compered the Fair Green event.

Father Simon Vivian, town mayor Cllr Annelise Furnace, associate minister Rev Debbie Hore and Sawbridgeworth Evangelical Congregational Church minister Gary Hanson had leading roles in the event.

The churches agreed to back the Rotary club’s usual charities and the £600-plus raised via phone line was added to Rotary’s trust fund. This meant cheques of £500 each were sent to Hertfordshire Society for the Blind and Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service.

Rotary president Chris Battson thanked all those who had donated and those who made the event “such a joy to watch”.

In a Facebook post, Rev Hore informed parishioners that following the new lockdown, Great St Mary's, in Church Lane, would be closed, meaning no private prayer or public worship until further notice.

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