MORE than 300 people packed into a church for a service to celebrate civic and community life in Hartlepool.
Hartlepool Council chairman, Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, thanked the congregation who filled the town’s St Hilda’s Church on Sunday evening.
The service was led by the Reverend Chris Collison, priest-in-charge of St Hilda’s Church, and civic chaplain Rev Val Towler.
The service was also attended by Hartlepool members of the Boys’ Brigade and the Sea Cadets as well as the town’s MP Iain Wright, the High Sheriff of Durham, members of the Headland, Hart and Elwick parish councils and civic representatives of the other North-East councils.
Also taking part were young people representing the seven local young people’s charities which Coun Akers-Belcher has chosen to support during his year as chairman.
Each group gave a presentation about its work. They are the Belle Vue Youth Project; Central Correctors; Hartlepool Young Carers; NYPD (Nurturing Young People’s Development); The Phoenix Funsters; The Rifty Youth Project and The Wharton Annexe. Coun Akers-Belcher said: “I was absolutely delighted to see so many people fill the church to celebrate the life of our town.
“I send a very big thank you to everyone who took part in the service. It was a very special event in one of the town’s most historic landmarks.
“Particular thanks go to Rev Collison, Rev Towler and the St Hilda’s Church Council for all the hard work which they put into the preparations and also to all the representatives of my chosen charities who gave such impressive and moving presentations about their work and what it means to them.”