Page last updated at 08:52 GMT, Monday, 22 December 2008

Resort gets carol world premiere

A new carol by the composer whose works include the soundtrack to Four Weddings and a Funeral is to have its world premiere in Weston-super-Mare later.

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's new work has been written for The Cancer Research UK Carol Service at All Saint's Church in the resort.

"I wonder as I wander" will be conducted by Jonathan Manners, himself in remission from testicular cancer.

Carols by Candlelight in aid of Cancer Research UK is now in its 11th year.

"I approached him just over a year ago to see if he would consider writing something for us," said Mr Manners.

I think, 'I'm still here and that's the best proof Cancer Research UK are doing amazing work'
Jonathan Manners
"He was touched by the significance of the event, which gives everyone a chance to celebrate the start of Christmas whilst raising money for a fantastic cause."

Sir Richard has also written works for the BBC Proms at The Royal Albert Hall and King's College Cambridge Choir.

Andrew Horler, the town's mayor and John Penrose MP will join local actress Angela Barlow re-telling the Christmas story.

During the service people can light a candle to represent someone who is no longer here at Christmas, for whatever reason.

"After I finished my treatment for cancer I was worried I'd look at hundreds of candles and get emotional," said Mr Manners.

"Actually, that's the most positive moment for me. It could be sad, but I think, 'I'm still here and that's the best proof Cancer Research UK are doing amazing work'."



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