Royal seal of approval for Sunderland AFC carols night at Durham Cathedral

Sophie Countess of Wessex will be at Durham Cathedral tomorrow, when Joe McElderry (below) will be performing.
Sophie Countess of Wessex will be at Durham Cathedral tomorrow, when Joe McElderry (below) will be performing.
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THE region is gearing up for a royal visit.

The Countess of Wessex is attending a star-studded concert at Durham Cathedral tomorrow night, in aid of the SAFC Foundation, of which she is patron.

Joe McElderry performs before switching on the Christmas Lights at Cheshire Oaks, Chester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday November 11, 2011. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Joe McElderry performs before switching on the Christmas Lights at Cheshire Oaks, Chester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday November 11, 2011. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Tickets are sold out for the Carols of Light event, which features a galaxy of celebrities including West End songwriter Tim Rice; X Factor winner Joe McElderry; singer and actress Barbara Dickson; baritone Sir Thomas Allen, from Seaham; TV architect George Clarke, from Washington, and former Sunderland AFC chairman Niall Quinn.

The event, which is also raising funds for the Durham Cathedral Music Endowment Fund, will also feature performances from Durham Cathedral Choristers, Durham Cathedral Young Singers and Monkwearmouth Salvation Army Band.

Event organiser Carolyn Ramsbotham said: “We’re incredibly grateful that the Countess of Wessex will be attending Carols of Light, and in doing so, supporting two fantastic local charities that do so much for people within the region.”

Ruth Robson, head of marketing and events at Durham Cathedral, added: “We’re delighted to be able to host the Countess of Wessex at Carols of Light. We can promise her, and all of those in attendance, a fantastic festive celebration that reflects the true spirit of the North East.”

Carolyn added: “We’re overjoyed with the level of support that we’ve received for this event and we certainly didn’t expect to sell out so far in advance.

“We hope to give our guests a top class evening of entertainment that will put them well and truly in the festive spirit.”

The SAFC Foundation is the registered charity of the Black Cats and works with 40,000 young people each year, harnessing the power of the beautiful game to increase learning and sporting opportunities.

Durham Cathedral’s Music Outreach Programme works with schools in Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham with its community choir.

Twitter: @SunechoKaty