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Sunderland's Stadium of Light to host drive-through carol service as covid hits traditional celebrations

Two churches in Sunderland are holding a drive through carol service at the Stadium of Light to give people ‘something to look forward to’ after a tough year of lockdowns and restrictions.

By Georgina Cutler
Sunday, 6th December 2020, 2:22 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th December 2020, 3:37 pm

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The services will be held in the yellow car park of the Stadium of Light, which is the nearest one to the banks of the River Wear and looks on to the front of the ground.
The services will be held in the yellow car park of the Stadium of Light, which is the nearest one to the banks of the River Wear and looks on to the front of the ground.

New Springs City church and Hylton Castle Mission are inviting people to join their socially distant, drive through carol service at the Stadium of Light after restrictions halted their traditional plans.

After a year of lockdowns and restrictions, the churches have continued to help those in need of food and those struggling mentally and financially.

Pastor Nathan Weaver said: “The drive-through carol service means we can still celebrate Christmas, but safely, and it really gives everybody something to look forward to.

"Christmas is not cancelled and it’s important to cheer people up after what’s been a difficult year.”

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During the pandemic the church has helped with food banks and Christmas hampers to help those in need.

He added: “We can’t solve every problem but we can be kind and compassionate, this year has really proved that people do want to help those in need and we can come together to help.

"The community has been incredible and it’s so important for the church, agencies, charities and businesses to work together to make a difference.”

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The church has ‘never given out so many’ food parcels this year after the pandemic caused job losses and furlough schemes were introduced.

The New Springs Pastor added: “Everyone is doing what they can and being honest and asking for help when you need it is OK because things will get better.”

The carol service will take place at the football stadium’s yellow car park on Sunday, December 20, from 5pm.

Pastor Nathan said: “The carol service brings hope and it will help people connect once again, some haven’t seen other people in months so they can book this in their diary and look forward to it.

"People are struggling so we need to be checking on our neighbours, just saying hello and asking how they are is so important.

"We will bring the community together at Christmas but in the safest possible way.”

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