TONIGHT is the night as Sunderland Minster prepares to revel in the sounds of Christmas.
The Echo has teamed up with the church to host a free carol service, and this year promises to be another spectacular evening.
Sunderland Minster choir will perform carols, including God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.
Reverend Martin Anderson said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event once again in partnership with the Sunderland Echo, a paper that celebrates local life on a daily basis.
“It is great to have such talented people involved, including local playwright Ed Waugh.”
Also performing tonight are soloists Ani Sandwith and Adrian Woodland.
Singer and pianist Ani, from Seaham, has been performing since she was 12.
“Everyone says it is great that the Minster is being used for these types of concert,” she said. “But it really is.
“It should be a good night.”
Adrian Woodland, a guitarist and singer from the band The Goodchild will also perform, alongside guitarist Jim Maynard.
Adrian, from Tunstall, a student at Sunderland University, said: “I do strange venues like this all the time. I lived in London for more than 20 years, and I ran the The Bunker with Kenny Sanger.
“I’m performing a version of We Three Kings, with a Mackem twist.”
Local talent will also perform in Ed Waugh’s new play, Mackem Nativity, as award-winning performer Lauren Waine, from Seaburn, who picked up a Pride of South Tyneside Award last year, will feature in the performance
The former Monkwearmouth Comprehensive School pupil has played high-profile roles including Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, at the Customs House.
“It’s a challenge,” she said. “But Ed Waugh has written a cracking piece, and I’m very much looking forward to bringing a seasonal giggle to the folk of Sunderland.”
Sunderland Echo acting editor Richard Ord said: “Lauren is a fantastic talent and we are delighted she has agreed to perform at the service.”
Richard will also be one of the people reading at the service tonight, alongside Northeast Press managing director Stuart Birkett, and Sunderland Minster’s Canon Shiela Bamber.
Richard added “The evening is open to people of all ages and we’d love to see as many there as possible.”
The carol service will take place from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Everyone is asked to be seated by 6.15pm.