A CANDLELIT carol service to start the Christmas period will take place at All Saints Church, Northallerton, on Sunday, December 23 from 6pm.

The Nine Lessons and Carols service will open with the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City sung by a lone boy chorister in darkness.

Carols will be sung by the church choir under the direction of Choirmaster Greg Smith, and will include a new setting by John Rutter of the familiar Christmas Night and A Maiden Most Gentle by the York-based composer Andrew Carter - whose carols have featured several times in the famous Christmas Eve broadcast from King’s College Cambridge.

There will also be favourite familiar carols for the congregation to sing and enjoy. The service lasts about 75 minutes and wine and mince pies will be served afterwards.

Everyone is welcome to attend - there will be a collection at the end towards the expenses of the service and church funds.