CELEBRITIES from the stage and screen helped to raise more than £31,000 for the Neuromuscular Centre in Winsford.

Soap stars joined actors to read festive readings at the Spirit of Christmas charity concert at Chester Cathedral.

Coronation Street star Patti Clare joined Sharon Small, Robert Glenister, Rupert Frazer, Kate Fahy, Roger Phillips, Helen Atkinson Wood, Malcolm Sinclair, Shelley King, Ian Bartholomew, Patti Clare, Selina Cadell entertained an audience of more than 1,000.

Abbey Gate College Chapel Choir and Roberts Bakery Brass Band also performed.

Stapeley Broad Lane Primary School, the winners of the NMC primary school choir competition, sang a selection of carols, conducted by their music teacher Catherine Acklam.

Winsford Guardian:

Stapeley Broad Lane Primary School

Claire James, NMC marketing manager, said: "Our celebrity readers were phenomenal and we are so grateful to them for giving up their time for free.

"This was our 24th Spirit of Christmas concert. Next year's will be on Friday, November 27 and will be a special 25th anniversary concert."

The concert was hosted by Matthew Kelly of Stars in Their Eyes fame. He brought along his friends from stage and screen for a magical festive celebration.

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Abbey Gate College Chapel Choir sang Quanta Qualia by Patrick Hawes, which featured an incredibly high treble solo masterfully sung by year 9 student Rhys Duffty.

They also performed the carol Born in a Stable by Philip Stopford and Ding Dong Merrily on High arranged by Mack Wilberg.

Winsford Guardian:

Abbey Gate College Chapel Choir

Head of music James Andrews said: "The choir excelled themselves, performing to a very high standard. It was exciting for our pupils to have the accompaniment of the Roberts Bakery Band for the congregational carols, with all musicians coming together to produce a very professional performance."

A hamper generously donated by photographer Ian Cook of Ian John Cook Photography raised £440.

NMC provides free specialist physiotherapy and other unique services which are not available on the NHS for people with neuromuscular conditions.