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St Martin in the Fields
Photo: Songquan Deng /

Shelter to put on the ‘UK’s biggest virtual carol concert’ this Christmas

A candlelit church in London will host the gig in aid of the homeless

Samantha Willis
Written by
Samantha Willis

Winter is the most difficult time of year for Londoners sleeping rough, not just in terms of the icy cold temperatures, but also the loneliness they suffer at a time when others are with loved ones. And this year, with the economic impact of the pandemic, many people are facing homelessness for the first time.

Shelter is fighting hard to help those who are worst affected to find (and keep) a safe and stable home, and it’s come up with a plan to raise funds that incorporates two of the UK’s favourite things: live music and Edith Bowman. 

The Home. Hope. Song. concert is set to be the UK’s biggest virtual carol service, will live-stream on Shelter's website and be hosted by Bowman at a candlelit St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square.

The stream will be interspersed with stories from those who’ve been helped by the charity, along with guest appearances from the likes of Julie Walters, Stephen Fry and Rob Rinder.

The concert is free to watch but any donations made will support Shelter’s work. And event sponsors Nationwide Building Society will match pledges up to £43k.

The best part is that nobody ‘attending’ the concert will have to listen to each other’s vocals as they sing along. So, no, you won’t get to hear me sing ‘O Holy Night’ IRL, you’ll have to wait until next year for that absolute treat.

Shelter’s Home. Hope. Song. concert will take place on Dec 3 at 7pm, and you can register for the event here

Seen someone sleeping rough in cold weather? Tell Streetlink.

Want to know what else is (still) happening in Christmas this year? Check out our list of London's festive events

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