On Monday 2nd December we welcomed over 800 of you to the very first Horatio’s Garden Carol Concert and what an evening it was!
We couldn’t believe how many of you chose to join us for the event and the enthusiasm shown by each and every one of our wonderful supporters made for a truly incredible atmosphere. Amongst their family and friends, everyone soon settled into St Marylebone Parish Church for the concert to begin and many commented afterwards that it was the perfect way to start their seasonal celebrations.
Numerous people shared how much they’d enjoyed the concert, which featured stunning solos from singer Charlotte Crawley, violinist Jan Schmolk and trumpeter Will Lyons. In addition, there were also moving Christmas readings scattered amongst the carols and anthems from charity founder Dr Olivia Chapple, charity ambassador Jack Mannings and actors Tony Gardner and Jemma Redgrave. For a blissful hour, everyone was enchanted by those who performed and enthusiastically joined in with every carol, with each being led by the beautiful voices of the Parish Church Choir.
It was also lovely to welcome Horatio’s Garden London patron Mel Giedroyc to the event, who embraced the congregation with her natural warmth and humour. As she introduced the charity’s Christmas appeal film, she shared that one of her friends had previously spent time in the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury and that this was how she came to be involved with the charity.
Particularly wonderfully, Mel also took the opportunity to call upon Horatio’s Garden Scotland designer James Alexander-Sinclair and Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville designer Joe Swift to share more about what their gardens and the charity as a whole means to them. Both were hugely entertaining as they comedically insisted that their own garden was the best, but on a more serious note were equally emphatic about how the gardens they have created are incredibly important to them. They told the gathering that it was a privilege to be involved with something that is so powerful and loved by so many.
Following the concert, a whole host of brilliant volunteers invited everyone to indulge in a festive glass of fizz and a delicious mince pie, which were unanimously considered to be a fabulous end to a fabulous evening.
Thank you to everyone at St Marylebone Parish Church for ensuring the event ran smoothly, including The Revd Canon Dr Stephen Evans and Director of Music Gavin Roberts. Thank you too to our generous sponsors Ramsay Healthcare, Stifel, The Howard de Walden Estate and Bottlegreen drinks for helping to make the evening a huge success.
We are so grateful to everyone who attended the concert for your incredibly kind support of Horatio’s Garden this Christmas. It was an absolute pleasure to welcome you all and we look forward to seeing you again next year.