Carol Service event at Brunton Park
A crowd of 2,500 carol singers is set to descend on Carlisle United's Brunton Park for a special city event.
The Silent Night Carols service has been organised by HOPE Carlisle, which helps bring churches together to transform communities with the message of Jesus' love and peace.
The service will give people the chance to celebrate Christmas as well as the opportunity to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One.
The moment when the battlefield guns fell silent on Christmas Day in 1914 and soldiers from both sides sang carols and played football during a temporary truce, will also be marked.
Miriam Lowe, co-ordinator of the HOPE Carlisle event, said: “We're really excited about what we have planned for the carol service and are confident that we will have a great turn out.
“There's been a tremendous buzz about the event and we have been amazed at the amount of people who have come forward to offer their help.
“There's a real sense of the city community coming together to enable us to mark Christmas together and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in World War One.
“That sacrifice is mirrored by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 2000 years before, and it is His birth that we will also be celebrating at the carols service.”
The gates will open at 3pm on Sunday 14 December, with pre-service events running from 3.30pm, ahead of the service which stars at 4pm.
A choir of 240 primary school children and Carlisle Community Choir will lead carol singing from a specially constructed stage in the football ground.
Dancers will perform a work based on the 1914 truce and there will be short dramas highlighting the importance of letters sent to and from the battlefields of World War One. A lone chorister from Carlisle Cathedral will sing Silent Night and a video celebrating the city of Carlisle will also be played on big screens.
John Nixon, managing director of Carlisle United said: “We're delighted to be able to offer the use of our stadium to host this special carol service.
“The fact that the service will mark the 1914 Christmas Day truce and impromptu game of football played in No Man's Land makes it even more fitting for the event to be held at Carlisle United's football stadium.
“I'm sure it will be a wonderful occasion and will help engender even more community spirit in our city in the lead up to Christmas.”
The Carlisle carol service is one of thousands of events to be organised by the HOPE organisation nationally.
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has also written a letter of support for the HOPE Silent Night Carols events.
In his role as President of the Football Association, he wrote: “Even at the bleakest of times Christmas offers peace and hope. This Christmas, the Silent Night carol services are a powerful way to remember the sacrifice made by so many in the Great War and to celebrate the peace we enjoy today.”