Donkey charity to host virtual carols by candlelight evening

Sidmouth, East Devon Donkey

Former BBC Radio Bristol presenter Emma Britton at The Donkey Sanctuary - Credit: Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary will once again hold its virtual Carols by Candlelight service from its international headquarters in Sidmouth this Friday (December 10).  

Hosted by celebrant and former BBC Radio Bristol presenter Emma Britton, the event gets underway at 6pm and will be available to watch on The Donkey Sanctuary’s website. 

Following on from the award-winning ‘Sanctuary From Your Sofa’ events that brought donkeys ‘virtually’ into people’s homes during lockdown in 2020, the charity’s traditional annual carol service will be broadcast for people to watch from the comfort of their own homes. 

The evening includes live-streamed visits from the charity’s Paccombe Farm near its Sidmouth HQ, as well as pre-recorded readings, traditional Christmas Carols performed by a local choir and music from the Exeter Railway Band. 

Candlelight host Emma Britton said: “I was so excited to be asked to host this year’s Carols by Candlelight event. I really hope that all the wonderful supporters of The Donkey Sanctuary enjoy this very special evening.” 

Paccombe Farm is located in the beautiful hamlet of Harcombe, just a few miles from the Sidmouth sanctuary. The farm's layout is ideal for the specific needs of elderly and young donkeys, and the visit will include meeting some of the farm's foals that were born this year. 

As with the charity’s other outlying farms, Paccombe Farm is not open to the public, so this is a unique opportunity to meet some of the resident donkeys and the fantastic team of people that care for them. 

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Due to Covid restrictions, the charity won't be allowing the public to visit for the traditional carolling evening where thousands of tealights are usually lit and crowds gather by the stables for carol singing. Instead, the donkey charity is inviting people to tune into the Virtual Carols by Candlelight and enjoy the event from home. The team will be premiering a full-length concert, performed and recorded at The Donkey Sanctuary, so you'll be able to watch the videos on their website or via YouTube.

For more information, including how to watch the 2021 Carols by Candlelight, please visit their website at: www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk