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Better Bankside appeal launched at cathedral tree lighting

Better Bankside members were present at Southwark Cathedral for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Southwark Cathedral by night

Due to bad weather on Wednesday the entire ceremony took place inside the cathedral. Children carried symbolic lights from the altar to the tree in the sanctuary. The outdoor tree was lit later.

Earlier Kelvin Beer Jones of South Hook Gas read an introduction to the tree symbol in Christian tradition. Lessons were read by Better Bankside Chair Christopher Evans of Izod Evans and Lisa Henshaw of Fourth Day Public Relations.

Advent carols were sung by the Merbecke Choir. Afterwards the Dixie Ticklers jazz band played during the mince pie and mulled wine reception. The event was sponsored by Better Bankside and South Hook Gas.

Earlier Father Christmas visited local children at a party hosted by Better Bankside at the Bankside Community Space.

The tree lighting marked the launch of Better Bankside's annual Bring a Better Christmas Campaign which distributes gifts to vulnerable people in Bankside.

Collection points for donated toiletries, sweets and toys, include Southwark Cathedral reception and Bankside Community Space in Great Guildford Street.

• The neighbouring Team London Bridge business improvement district is running a similar Community Christmas campaign; gifts can be dropped off at a number of locations including Southwark Council's offices at 160 Tooley Street.

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