CHRISTCHURCH Priory’s Carols in the Car Park event has been cancelled due to fears of rising coronavirus cases locally.

The priory was due to host three carol services on Wednesday December 23 at 3pm, 5pm and 7pm, but announced on Sunday that the event could no longer go ahead “in the interests of protecting public health”.

The free ticketed event was to be held in the car park of Christchurch Priory as organisers cannot currently host carol services inside Christchurch Priory due to social distancing.

The Vicar, Rev Canon Charles Stewart said: “It is sad but I took the decision over the weekend to cancel the Carols in the Car Park event.

“We know that we can keep people safe in the Priory itself as we have some really robust social distancing rules. However, we cannot guarantee that same level of care in our car park.

“We felt it could prove to be a risk to people’s health so therefore, with great regret, we have had to call off the event.”

The three outdoor carol services were to be held to raise money for three charities, the Christchurch Food Bank, The Salvation Army and national homeless charity Crisis, with the money being even distributed between the three charitable causes.