The Online Carol Concerts To Watch This Year

The Online Carol Concerts To Watch This Year

This year, heading down to a local carol service may be out of the question. If you prefer to stay at home, but don’t want to miss out on the festivities, why not sign up for a virtual concert? Promising all the familiar tunes and plenty of atmosphere, here are some of the events worth putting in the diary.
Photography: Aleksandra Suzi /

Action for Children’s Starry Night

Action for Children is hosting a celebrity-studded virtual carol concert to help spread some Christmas joy to children who need extra love and support this Christmas. Presented by Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow, the concert will feature classic carols sung by The Epiphoni Consort, with special guests including Leona Lewis, Liam Gallagher and Call the Midwife’s Jenny Agutter. There will also be readings by television presenters Angellica Bell and Nadia Sawalha, as well as comedy from Jess Hynes. 

8th December at 7:30pm; £10 per household


Carols for the City 

Celebrate the festive season with the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell, and a distinguished line-up of readers led by HRH Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex. Enjoy music by the internationally renowned vocal ensemble VOCES8, sister group Apollo5 and local school pupils. The carols will be live streamed from the Church of St Anne & St Agnes in the City with all money raised from the service going towards four charities: The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists Charity, The VOCES8 Foundation, and The Friends of the City Churches. 

8th December at 5:30pm; £5, plus additional donations welcome


Childline’s Merry Little Christmas Concert

This year, Childline’s Merry Little Christmas Concert will be hosted by Ore Oduba, with Leona Lewis confirmed to perform and special appearances from Martin Freeman and Geri Horner. There will also be spectacular musical performances and magical entertainment for everyone to enjoy from the likes of West End Kids, BBC Young Chorister of the year Anna Haestrup, Britain’s Got Talent favourites the D-Day Juniors and D-Day Darlings, and magician Ben Hanlin. You can also help Childline support more children this Christmas by bidding on prizes in the Merry Little Christmas Online Auction.

10th December at 7pm; £20 per household


The Solving Kids' Cancer Virtual Christmas Carol Concert

This virtual carol concert will welcome a range of special guests and musicians this year, including The London Oratory School Choir, Wynne Evans and the Trinity Laban Vocal Quartet to raise money for the children's cancer charity. Packed with festive fun for the whole family, this year, the charity has also chosen to celebrate the NHS and in particular, those who have worked tirelessly to support the neuroblastoma community throughout the pandemic.  

10th December at 7pm; £25


Carers Trust Online Carol Concert

Streamed live from St John's Smith Square in London, sales from this concert will go towards supporting the charity's work to benefit unpaid carers – with audiences hearing from Angela Rippon about why they need our help this Christmas. Highlights to look forward to include readings from Hugh Bonneville, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Greg Wise, plus seasonal music from the acclaimed City of London Choir.

10th December at 6:30pm; £10


Koor’s Festive Carol Concerts

Learning app Koor has launched a series of festive workshops to enable people to sing safety in their own homes this year. This will culminate in three exclusive online performances, streamed live from St John’s Smith Square and Blackheath Hall. Programme 1 (Messiah by Handel) will be performed on 11th December at St John’s Smith Square, programme 2 (Mass in C by Beethoven) will be performed on 16th December at Blackheath Halls, and programme 3 (In Terra Pax, with works including Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Holst’s Christmas Day) will be performed on 21st December at St John’s Smith Square. 

11th, 16th & 21st December at 7:30pm; £15


Lambeth Palace Online Concert

Featuring world-class performers live from the grounds of Lambeth Palace, enjoy this carol concert from the comfort of your own home. Register online for free for the live stream, which will be a celebration of the incredible work of Ronald McDonald House Charities UK after a very challenging year. Included in the line-up are the English National Opera Choir, the Male London Welsh Rugby Choir, world renowned clarinettist Emma Johnson, soprano singer Alexandra Kennedy, as well as Classical Brit Award nominees Classical Reflection. There will also be sketches from artistic group Chimes for Children.

15th December at 7:30pm; free of charge, with donations encouraged


MS Society’s Virtual Christmas Concert

The MS Society is hosting a virtual Christmas concert this year, filmed in the beautiful setting of St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge. Hosted by Dave Myers from the Hairy Bikers, the festive programme will feature Christmas carols and readings from Emilia Fox, Robert Powell and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. Last year, the same appeal raised £12,000 – with the aim this year being to beat the tally. 

15th December at 7pm; £25


The Story of Christmas Virtual Carol Concert

Founded in 1978, The Story of Christmas is a charity carol service that takes place each year at St George’s Hanover Square. This year, the carol service will be filmed and released on YouTube for free, but will welcome donations via a JustGiving page to support charitable organisations such as 999 Club, Ambitious About Autism, Cherry Trees, Harringon, Look Ahead, Momentum Children’s Charity, West London Mission and Young Westminster Foundation. This year, the carol concert, with The Band & Fanfare Trumpeters of the Scots Guards and The Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, will feature contributions from celebrities including Dame Floella Benjamin, Clare Balding, Olivia Colman, Dame Judi Dench, Freddie Fox, Dawn French, Captain Sir Tom Moore, Graham Norton and more.

16th December on demand; donations welcome


Virtual Carols By The Alzheimer's Society

This year, organisers have chosen to make its annual Carols at Christmas event virtual. Even so, they’ll be bringing the sound of joyful choirs, your favourite carols, and readings from special guests right to your own living room, while Bafta award-winning host, Carey Mulligan, will be joined by  guests including Oscar-nominated actor Jonathan Pryce, award-winning actor Lesley Manville and distinguished journalist Sir Trevor McDonald. You’ll also be able to enjoy never-before-seen performances by Scouting for Girls and musician and composer Paul Harvey. 

17th December at 6:30pm; free, with donations welcome


Carols By Candlelight

Dame Judi Dench and Damian Lewis star alongside the Winchester College Chapel Choir in the 18th edition of Carols by Candlelight. The annual concert – which has gone virtual this year – aims to raise money for the Alice Martineau Appeal for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, with the pre-recorded event due to be streamed via YouTube. Expect celebrity messages and readings, alongside songs from the choir, filmed live from Abbey Road Studios. 

17th December at 7pm; £10pp


Carols at The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington

For the first time ever, the Royal Albert Hall is gearing up to bring you this Christmas event at home. The iconic venue is rolling out the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Richard Cooke, along with the Royal Choral Society and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain to sing some of your favourite carols, with organ accompaniment on the Voice of Jupiter, the hall’s famous organ. A festive favourite over the years, it looks like 2020 is going to be no exception.

18th-23rd December at 1:30pm & 7:30pm; £25-£59.50


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