ORGANISERS of the first Headington Live Advent Calendar drew a sigh of relief after working tirelessly to put on 24 separate concerts in the run-up to Christmas.

The organisers from Churches Together in Headington and resident activist group Headington Action will not be able to relax for long though, as they are about to begin planning next year’s cavalcade of festive fun.

Co-organiser of the event Nick Jackson, 42, already has plans to put on the second Headington Live Advent in 2015.

The former deputy head of St Christopher’s Primary School, Cowley, said: “It was tough organising, but it’s gone even better than anticipated.

“What’s been great is the feedback from the groups and the venues about how great it is that people in Headington are getting together. “Some of the groups were amazing and people that even I hadn’t heard of.

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“We had a group of people from Risinghurst called Rising Voices who were fantastic.”

The father-of-two plans to meet in January with fellow organisers Susie Stead of Churches Together and county councillor for Headington and Quarry Roz Smith, to start planning 2015’s advent calendar.

About 600 people came to see the 24 live events and performances, which varied from traditional carols from St Andrew’s Primary School Choir, to jazz group Jazz Alone Quartet.

A co-ordinator for children’s charity Power Pack, Mr Jackson said: “We’ve already had four groups show interest and there were others who really wanted to perform but got in touch a little too late.

Oxford Mail:

Susie Stead, Nick Jackson, and councillor Roz Smith with pupils and staff from St Andrew’s Primary School

“We may try to have two acts perform at each venue next year because the whole point of the event is to be inclusive.”

On Christmas Eve, about 70 people gathered outside the Co-operative supermarket in London Road to sing carols to mark the end of the Advent performances.

Carols included O Little Town Of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger and Mary Had A Baby.

Gathorne Road resident Lorna Hicks, 67, joined the group on the fional day.

The former further education English teacher said: “It has been lovely. It has been a very ambitious project and it is wonderful they have got so many to perform.

“I hope that it will happen next year.”

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