Image: (from left to right) ICR CEO Professor Kristian Helin, Jack Dee, Penny Smith, ICR Chair Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, In-Pensioner Marjorie Cole, Gaby Roslin, Vincent Franklin. Credit: ICR/Dominic O’Neill
Famous faces and guests packed the stunning Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, for the 21st year of an exclusive carols service in support of The Institute of Cancer Research, London.
Comedian Jack Dee, Happy Valley actor Vincent Franklin, and presenters Gaby Roslin and Penny Smith, all did readings at the sold-out event to mark the start of the festive season.
Over the last two decades, Carols from Chelsea has raised over £1.9 million to help scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) continue their pioneering work to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.
The flagship fundraising event began with a beautiful candlelit performance of 'Stille Nacht' by The Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital, as part of a spectacular musical programme under the leadership of the Director of Music Will Vann.
The service was led by Reverend Paul Cowley MBE and also included a reading by In-Pensioner Marjorie Cole.
Following the service, guests joined a Laurent-Perrier champagne reception in the Great Hall, where they had the opportunity to make fundraising pledges, win over 130 prizes and take part in a Silent Auction. All proceeds from the evening will go towards the ICR’s world-leading research, which takes place in labs in Chelsea and Sutton.
Image: Director of Music Will Vann leads The Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital. Credit: ICR/Dominic O’Neill
Actor Vincent Franklin, who gave a reading at Carols from Chelsea, said:
“Carols from Chelsea is one of the most important events in my year, I’m always delighted when I get invited to come along, because it’s in aid of a brilliant institution doing amazing work, that all of us will benefit from. It’s just brilliant to be able to be part of it.
“My dad died of cancer a few years ago, my mother-in-law died last year of cancer, and we all know somebody who we won’t be able to send a Christmas card to this year because of cancer. So I’ve come here to Carols from Chelsea thinking about those people, at the same time as supporting an organisation that will help that happen to fewer people.”
Hannah Joyce, Deputy Director of Development (Philanthropy) at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:
“Carols from Chelsea is not just the highlight of the ICR’s social calendar, but a vital fundraising event to support the pioneering work of our scientists to make the discoveries that will defeat cancer.
“As a research institute and charity, we rely on the generosity of the public to help us continue our pioneering research – and over the last two decades, this event has raised over £1.9 million. As ever, we are grateful to all our supporters and donors who have helped us kick off the festive season in the true spirit of Christmas, so that people with cancer can live longer and better lives.”