CANDLELIT carol singing helped a charity welcome in the festive season at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral.

The Spirit of Christmas service on Wednesday was held in aid of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and featured the choir of Summer Fields School as well as celebrity readers Jan Ravens, a comic actress who has starred in Dead Ringers, Tim McInnerny, from Blackadder, actors Julian Rhind-Tutt, Tom Ward and comedian Reece Shearsmith.

About 300 people gathered to sing old favourites such as Once in Royal David’s City by candlelight, with the first candle lit by Oxfordshire muscular dystrophy sufferer Tracy McMahon.

Rachelle Cornel, of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said: “There was a lovely atmosphere and the readers were great. We tried to get a mixture between funny and serious readings.

“It was a really nice way to start the festive season.”

This was one of 11 Spirit of Christmas services which the charity has held all around the country over the past two weeks to raise money for its work with muscular dystrophy sufferers.

Pictures: OX49371 Jon Lewis