Christmas carol concerts in London make for a fabulously festive night out. The Resident picks out 21 of the capital’s best, listed in date order
1 Connaught Village Christmas Shopping Evening
Still need to get some Christmas shopping done? Listen to angelic carols as you shop at Connaught Village on 23 November 2017. Christmas activities include face painting, a hot chocolate stand, and complimentary in-store prosecco and mulled wine. Even better, all of the Christmas activities are free, making it the perfect event for families. A short walk from Hyde Park, Connaught Village is the place to go to get in the Christmas spirit.
Connaught Street W2 2AA; connaught-village.co.uk
2 Kids for Kids Candlelit Christmas Concert
Now in its 17th year, Kids for Kids’ annual, sell out, celebrity filled, Candlelit Christmas Concert aims to help transform the lives of children in Darfur, Sudan. The evening will be hosted throughout by ITV’s Julie Etchingham, and celebrity readers include Patrons Joanna Lumley, Lord Cope and Timothy West. Timothy and his wife Prunella Scales will also join the Celebrity Choir. The angelic voices of the choir of Queen’s Gate School will raise the rafters whilst the lights of countless candles usher in the Christmas season. Highly acclaimed Harpist Margaret Watson will play, as will The Thames Fanfare Brass. Concert 7pm followed by mulled wine and a mince pie. Adults £30, children £15 (minimum donation).
St Peter’s, 119 Eaton Square, Belgravia SW1W 9AL; kidsforkids.org.uk
3 Gabriel’s Wharf Magical Christmas
Gabriel’s Wharf Magical Christmas is an afternoon of free carols, crafts and Christmas treats. From shopping and carolling to free seasonal treats, there’s something for everyone at Gabriel’s Wharf. The Christmas carols are performed by a live band, providing the perfect background music while you get everything on your Christmas shopping list.
Gabriel’s Wharf 56 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PP; coinstreet.org
4 A Silver Christmas Celebration
A Silver Christmas Celebration features Jonathan Antoine, Beau Dermot, Susanna Reid, Dame Esther Rantzen, Singers from The Sylvia Young Theatre School and Vocality. Led by The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Queen and the Speaker of the House of Commons, this fun, festive night out is also for a good cause. All proceeds will go to The Silver Line ensuring that older people are given the assistance they need 24/7. Tickets are £35 for adults, £15 for kids.
St Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield Cloth Fair EC1A 7JQ; thesilverline.org.uk
5 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Carol Concert
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is throwing another Christmas Carol Concert with all their furry friends in attendance. Be welcomed by their festive doggy Guard of Honour and sing-a-long to some of your favourite Christmas carols within the beautiful surroundings of St Luke’s Church. There will be plenty of mulled wine and mince pies for everyone as well as time to cuddle up to some adorable pups. Tickets £20. The profits will help the charity care for thousands of homeless dogs and cats.
St Luke’s Church, Sydney Street SW3 6NH; battersea.org.uk
6 Carols from Chelsea
Enjoy a night of elegance at the Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The event consists of readings, traditional carols and music, including seasonal favourites by Handel and Bach. Readers and musicians alike include Konu Kim, Jeremy Paxman, Prue Leith and the actor Edward Holcroft, followed by a champagne and canapé reception. The Institute of Cancer Research has organised this star-studded event for 13 consecutive years and it’s sure to be a hit. Tickets are £85. From 6.30pm.
Royal Hospital Road Chelsea SW3 4SR; icr.ac.uk
7 The Lullaby Trust’s fundraising Carol Concert
BAFTA-nominated actress Romola Garai and Downton Abbey/The Crown actor Harry Hadden-Paton will be giving readings at The Lullaby Trust’s fundraising Carol Concert, in addition to carols sung by Sing Gospel and the award-winning St Joseph’s School choir. Enjoy the elegant atmosphere of St James’ Church in Clerkenwell alongside complimentary Prosecco and mince pies. All proceeds will help to fund support for bereaved families and research into the causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Tickets are £20 for adults, £10 for kids. 6.45pm-8pm.
St James Church, Clerkenwell Close EC1R 0EA; tickettailor.com
8 Hope & Homes for Children’s Christmas Carol Concert
Enjoy a festive night out for a good cause in Kensington at the Hope and Homes for Children’s Christmas Carol Concert. The event, created by Gavin & Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones, television news legend John Sergeant and actors Edward and Freddie Fox, will feature amazing performances by singer songwriter Freya Ridings, the London Suzuki Group and the Deutsche Bank Singers. Enjoy mince pies and refreshments while you listen to the talented carollers sing some of your favourite Christmas tunes. The tickets are £20 and will raise funds for Hope and Homes for Children’s End the Silence Appeal. 4.30pm-6.30pm.
St Mary Abbots Centre, Kensington W8 4HN; hopeandhomes.org
9 London Carol Concert for Rainbow Trust
Pop into St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge, one of the most beautiful Victorian churches in London, for a night of carolling and special Christmas treats. Enjoy carols from the Farleigh School Chapel Choir, as well as other musical performances playing your favourite Christmas tunes. Special guests include host Mary Nightingale, tennis player Annabel Croft, actor Jason Flemyng, comedienne and actress Maureen Lipman, actor Robert and actor Rupert Young. The star studded night will help Rainbow Trust to raise vital funds to provide support ill children and their families. Tickets £40.
32a Wilton Place, Knightsbridge SW1X 8SH; rainbowtrust.org.uk
10 Magical Christmas at Devonshire Square
7 & 11 December
Devonshire Square is hosting two carolling performances this year. On 7 December, the Capital Arts Children’s Choir and London Cantamusica will perform classic Christmas carol favourites in Devonshire Square’s Western Courtyard, which will be decorated with twinkling Christmas trees and a giving tree. On 11 December, the Constanza Chorus, a City of London-based choral society, conducted by Director of Music Joanna Tomlinson, will be singing classic carol songs in Devonshire Square’s Western Courtyard to raise money for The Food Chain, a charity that provides nutritional support for people living with HIV in London. Both events are free and a part of Devonshire Square’s Art for Love Christmas Festival.
6 Devonshire Square EC2M 4YE; devonshiresq.co.uk
11 Dulwich College Chapel Choir’s Spirit of Christmas
Enjoy a night of enchanting music and giving back at the Spirit of Christmas, hosted by world Child Cancer and performed by the Dulwich College Chapel Choir. Check Christmas shopping off your list as beautiful jewellery made by Ghanaian mothers at the children’s cancer unit will be for sale, and you can also enjoy a reading by actor Larry Lamb and indulge in mulled wine and mince pies from Harrod’s. With a suggested donation of £25, your contribution is going towards supporting children with cancer in developing countries around the world.
Holy Trinity Church Sloane Square, Sloane Street SW1X 9BZ; worldchildcancer.org
12 London International Gospel Choir’s Christmas Concert
Not quite a carol concert, but delivering some serious festive vibes regardless, the London International Gospel Choir hosts its annual Christmas concert at All Saints Notting Hill. As well as show-stopping tunes from the 80-plus members of LIGC, there’ll be performances from small ensemble groups, professional soloists and guests Alle Choir – along with championship-level beatboxing and a hugely talented pianist flying in from Sweden. Refreshments will be available to purchase throughout the night. Last year’s show sold out, so get your tickets now! Tickets £12 online or £15 on the door (concs 50%). Doors open at 7.30pm.
All Saints Notting Hill, Clydesdale Road, Notting Hill W11 1JE; internationalgospelchoir.uk / billetto.co.uk
13 Community Carols at St John’s Church, Blackheath
From 4pm-5.15pm, families are welcome for Community Carols at St John’s Church, Blackheath. Then, from 7pm, it’s Unplugged Carols, a celebration of Emmanuel, God with us, and an evening of worship with carols and songs new and old. All Ages welcome for hot chocolate and warm mince pies.
Stratheden Road, Blackheath SE3 7TH; stjohnsblackheath.org.uk
14 Battersea Choral Society’s Christmas Concert
Battersea Choral Society’s Christmas Concert features traditional Christmas carols and festive readings. Enjoy the likes of Tavener The Lamb, Gjeilo Serenity (O Magnum Mysterium) and Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols, as well as an exciting new carol by award-winning composer and organist Ghislaine Reece-Trapp. Enjoy mulled wine and mince pies after the concert and contribute to a good cause; Battersea Choral Society has partnered with Glass Door, a charity organisation that works with churches to provide shelter and offers invaluable support to men and women affected by homelessness. Tickets £20.
Holy Trinity, Sloane Square, Chelsea SW1X 9BZ; batterseachoral.brownpapertickets.com
15 Candlelit Carols at Southwark Cathedral
Sing along at the Candlelit Carols on 12 December at Southwark Cathedral for the benefit of international development charity Feed the Minds. The event includes an array of performers including the Quorum Chamber Choir. Enjoy Christmas classics and sing along to all of your favourites. With a candlelit backdrop, this magical Christmas Carols event is as festive as it gets. Tickets range from £10-£35.
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge SE1 9DA; feedtheminds.eventbrite.co.uk
16 African Promise Christmas Carol Service
Join international development charity African Promise at their second annual Christmas Carol Service at St Giles-in-the-Fields Church in the West End. The event features performances from the London International Gospel Choir and Ramiel Brass featuring BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist Matilda Lloyd, readings by Paul Jesson and Simon Russell Beale, as well as the chance to sing your favourite carols. The carol service will help to raise money for African Promise’s work with primary schools in Kenya. Tickets are priced at £20, which includes a glass of wine and a generous helping of mince pies after the service.
60 St Giles High Street WC2H 8LG. For tickets see eventbrite.com
17 Carols by Candlelight for Macmillan Cancer Support
Carols by Candlelight will be held in the glorious, Grade II-listed St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge. Alastair Bruce OBE, Sky News’ Royal, Religious and Constitutional Affairs Commentator will present the traditional service, which will feature well known carols for all to sing along to, as well as readings from guests including actor Nick Hendrix, audio presenter and actor John Foley, and television and radio presenter Sarah-Jane Mee. Carols will be performed by award-winning choir Vox Cordis. After the concert, drinks and delicious mini mince pies will be served. The event hopes to raise £20,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support – enough to fund a vital Macmillan nurse for four months. Reserved tickets £30, unreserved seating £25. 7.30pm.
St Paul’s Church, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge. To book see macmillan.org.uk or call Judy Spence on 07793 579 359
18 Organoke: An Alternative Carol Concert
Organoke is a fantastically modern alternative carol concert for those who like to channel their inner Beyonce. Hosted at St Giles’ Church in Camberwell, this is one event where you can sing your heart out without being frowned upon. Grab a beer and a pew (or dance in the aisle!) and sing along to karaoke classics with one of London’s oldest church organs, before rounding off the night with an afterparty in the Crypt. Host Ida Barr, a faded-yet-fabulous Edwardian music-hall singer-extraordinaire, will guide you through an evening of non-stop feel good vibes. 7pm. Tickets £15.
*Sadly, this event is sold out, but keep an eye on the website for returns*
St Giles Chruch, Camberwell SE5 8RB; organoke.com
19 Blackheath Halls Christmas Concert
This fabulous seasonal Christmas concert has performances from many local community groups including Multi-Story Orchestra, Blackheath Halls Chorus, Blackheath Halls Gospel Choir, Meantime Jazz, Royal Greenwich and Blackheath Halls and the Youth Choir. Enjoy Christmas songs and music including Handel Messiah part 1. 7.30pm. Tickets £16 (concs £14) or £6 for under 12s (includes a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie). Leaders Christopher Stark, Jonathan Dexter, Helen Brookes and Eleanor Wright.
Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road SE3 9RQ; blackheathhalls.com
20 Gospel Carols by Candlelight
Feed the Minds is also set to benefit from a second candlelit carol concert this year, this time at St Paul’s Church. The evening will be a mix of classic sing-along carols combined with traditional carols sung by the gospel choir. The choir is made up of East African singers, so you will also be treated to a couple of carols sung with an African flavor. Tickets are £15, including a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.
St Paul’s Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9ED; africancarols.eventbrite.co.uk
21 Sonoro Chamber Choir’s Christmas Concert
Sonoro’s Christmas concert at St John’s Church, Wimbledon, includes music by Eric Whitacre, Gareth Treseder, John Rutter, Herbert Howells and Sonoro’s Co-Artistic Director, Michael Higgins, together with the world premiere performance of Betty Roe’s A birth-night Song, written especially for the choir. The programme will also feature a piece by each of Sonoro’s new Honorary Patrons, Cecilia McDowall and Will Todd. In addition to mulled wine and mince pies, the audience will also have an opportunity to ‘sing with Sonoro’ when they’ll be invited to join the choir on stage to sing an iconic carol with the professional choir. 7.30pm. Tickets £6-£24.
St John’s, Spencer Hill, Wimbledon SW19 4NZ. To book see sonoromusic.com