A highlight of the Army's Advent calendar is the annual Soldiers’ Charity Carol Service in The Royal Hospital Chelsea. The fundraising event is held in the British Army's parish church, the glorious 1691 Wren Chapel in the heart of the Royal Hospital.

Carols by candlelight ABF The Soldiers Charity

Chief of the General Staff General, General Sir Nicholas Carter said: "This Christmas overseas duty will keep around 1,500 soldiers away from their families in a range of diverse locations from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Falkland Islands, Nigeria to Eastern Europe. While any one of these deployments is not as large as experienced at the height of the Afghanistan Campaign, the aggregate is significant. Deploying smaller groups of soldiers to a broad range of geographical locations in a range of activities and with diverse threats is more complex, but less obvious to the public.


"Without the stimulus of a major operation to generate public understanding and with significant change underway within the Army and the inevitable anxiety that brings, it has never been more important to look after our soldiers, our veterans and their families."

Tonight’s service was led by Reverend Stephen Brookes, Chaplain of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, and featured traditional carols, and readings from Olympic Gold Medalist and Royal Artillery Officer Major Heather Stanning MBE, the most senior soldier in the Army, Army Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Class One Glenn Houghton OBE, Lieutenant General James Bashall CBE, the first Commander of the Army's Home Command and Standing Joint Commander and a wide range of ranks of the Army, Reserves and Cadets.

Carols by Candlelight ABF The Soldiers Charity

The traditional carol service was supported by a piper from the London Scottish Regiment, a Fanfare Team from the Band of the Coldstream Guards, and the choir from the Royal Hospital Chelsea under the direction of William Vann.

The evening saw many esteemed guests attend, including the Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea General Sir Redmond Watt, and General Officer Commanding London District, Major General Ben Bathurst CBE.

Following the service guests were invited to the Great Hall for traditional mince pies with the Chelsea Pensioners in their scarlet coats.

Carols by candlelight ABF The Soldiers Charity

RIFT is proud to support ABF The Soldiers’ Charity which helps thousands of soldiers, former soldiers and their families each year


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