THE ROTARY Club of Christchurch have announced a new Christmas event for the town this year comprising of free pop up performances and are appealing for people to join in.

The Christchurch Living Advent Calendar will celebrate the advent season and aims to raise money for charities while bringing pleasure to people in the town.

Organised by a group of residents under the aegis of the Rotary Club, the occasion will include 24 days of local charity performances, and is being, with support from Christchurch Town Council and BCP Council, and sponsorship from local businesses.

Janet Banks, Chair of the CLAC organising group, said: “The idea for a Living Advent Calendar originated in Stockholm, with the first being held in 2005.

“Today, there are Living Advent Calendars in many towns in Sweden and other countries, with the first in UK being held in 2011 in Henley on Thames, where my husband Vince and I used to live.

“Seeing how well it worked in Henley we thought that the model would be ideal for Christchurch, as it showcases the local talent and the great work undertaken by charities and businesses locally, whilst raising significant sums for the charities.”

In a normal year, the event will run daily from December 1 to December 24, with a different ‘door’ or ‘window’ being opened each evening in the town centre at 6.15 pm for a 30-minute performance by a performer or group of performers including singers, dance troupes and theatre groups.

However, due to the delays to preparatory work caused by the coronavirus lockdown, organisers said that it was not possible to organise a full 24-day Living Advent Calendar in 2020.

A number of “taster” sessions have instead been organised for this December, with the first full 24-day Living Advent Calendar taking place in December 2021.

The Christchurch Living Advent Calendar 2020 will go live at 6.15pm on Tuesday December 1 in the North Porch of Priory Church, starting with the official opening of the event by Christchurch Mayor, Cllr. Lesley Dedman. The charity for the evening will be Autism Wessex.

Other confirmed events include a performance at the Captain’s Club Hotel on Thursday December 3, in aid of Macmillan Caring Locally, and a showing at the Bandstand on The Quomps on Thursday December 17 in support of the Bournemouth Hospital Charity.

Organisers are looking for any performers, charities, businesses and venues that might be interested in getting involved.

President of Christchurch Rotary for 2020/21Chris McClaverty said: “When Vince mentioned this idea at the Rotary Club, many members offered immediate support, and the Club has put its back behind the project.

“We believe that it will offer a prospect of hope and cheer after the grim period that we are all living through and will help to foster community spirit while raising the profile of our performers, businesses, and charities alike.

“We are so grateful to all who have come forward to help.”

To find out more or to get involved, email or visit