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The Annual Candlelight Service – a History

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The Candlelight Service

On 6th December 2023 at 2.30 pm – a group of people from all over Doncaster City belonging to churches, of all denominations, and charities/organisations from around the area gathered for the annual Candlelight Service held at St Andrew's Methodist Church.

The theme this year was 'Friendship', there were readings, poems, hymns and a guest speaker, who this year was Susanna Brookes. Representatives from each church, charity and organisation were invited to light a candle.

Each year, a different charity is supported and this year the collection was taken for Alzheimer's Society, raising funds for their important work.

It was, as always, an uplifting service bringing people together in fellowship.


"The idea for the Candlelight Service was given to my mother Marigo Appleyard, in the 1950's by a lady from Tottington in Lancashire and which her 'Sisterhood' took part in each Christmas time.

The 'Women's Bright Hour' – a group of ladies that met every week at the Netherhall Road Methodist Church in Doncaster, benefited from the idea by holding a similar service for many years until it closed on 1st June 1971 and became part of the St Andrew's Methodist Church, Beckett Road, Doncaster – about a mile away.

My mother was asked to become 'secretary' to the 'Women's Fellowship' almost immediately and the Candlelight Service became an annual event at St Andrew's thereafter until she retired at the age of eighty.

Always keen to help, my mother continued to assist in the arranging of the Candlelight Service until she died in 2003 at the age of 93.

The whole purpose of the service was to gather together ladies from all the other Christian Churches and organisations in the town (now a city) and the surrounding area.

The service is led by one of the representatives and it also includes an invited speaker to address the meeting.

This popular event also provides and opportunity for each represented church or organisation to light a candle and give details of their work in their communities.

The service is followed by refreshments providing a further opportunity for the assembled ladies to meet each other and share the details of their work. Today, gentlemen are cordially invited and do attend.

Each year, the Candlelight Service supports a different charity. Many charities have been supported over the last 60 years including (to name but a few) Firefly Cancer charity, Children's Air Ambulance, Myeloma Cancer charity, Eve Merton Dreams Trust, Support dogs etc.

Thank you to all those who supported and took part in this years Candlelight Service. I look forward to seeing you all next year."

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