The Mayor of Wolverhampton is breaking with tradition and switching the city's annual civic carol service from a church to a shopping centre in the hope more people will get to enjoy it.

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The event will take place a week on Wednesday (6 December) in the lower mall of the Mander Centre and will coincide with late night Wednesday shopping in the City of Wolverhampton.

The service has previously been held in the Victorian splendour of Darlington Street Methodist Church - but attendances have been falling for years.

Now the Mayor, Councillor Elias Mattu, has decided that he wanted to try something different and put a modern twist on the service - while maintaining a traditional Christmas feel.

It has been given a new name - 'Carols in the City' and as well as changing venue, it will feature lively performances from local schools, choirs, the city's brass band and Central Youth Theatre.

Councillor Mattu said: "People love carols at this time of year, there is nothing like the sound of these time-honoured tunes to get people feeling festive. I really hope people come out and support this fantastic free event.

"This year we are taking the carols to the people, rather than expecting them to come to us. We are holding it in the Mander Centre to coincide with late night Wednesday shopping when stores are open until 8pm and the city centre will be busy.

"The venue is ideal because there is plenty of space for people to watch us from both the upper and lower mall - and people can informally come and go as they do their shopping.

"We are freshening up the service with performances from several local choirs including schools and a gospel group, the award winning Central Youth Theatre and the beautiful, evocative sounds of City of Wolverhampton Brass Band.

"I'm delighted to say that the service will continue to be supported by clergy from local churches who have been fully behind our efforts to modernise this event.

"We were inspired to change the venue by the success of Armed Forces Day which took place in the Mander Centre during the summer and we had an extremely good attendance."

The council has been supporting by Darlington Street Methodist Church, Central Youth Theatre, Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID) and the Mander Centre in organising the event.

The service will run from 6pm to 8pm and is free.

The Mander Centre's Winter Wonderland where children can meet Father Christmas will be open to visitors.

Free parking is available at the city council's School Street and Market Street car parks from 2pm and at the Mander Centre from 4pm.

To find out more about Christmas in Wolverhampton visit Type=links;Linkid=6522;Title=Enjoy Wolverhampton;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Tuesday 28 November, 2017