MORE than 1,000 people came together to raise money for charity whilst celebrating Christmas at the third Carols Under The Arch event in Abersychan.

Noddfa Baptist Church organised the event, which saw the community come together to get into the Christmas spirit with number of live performances and a service from Rev. John Funnell.

The event also raised £530.95 for the Daniel Jones Charity (Torfaen Mind).

Rev. Funnell said: "It was a real community effort.

"We sang carols and then I would give a gospel reading explaining the meaning behind the carol.

"Our MP Nick Thomas-Symonds read a poem, and in our church we have an Elvis impersonator, who did a great job warming up the crowd.

"People were saying the crowd was something like at a football match.

"Although the Daniel Jones Charity is not an explicitly Christian charity, it shares the same love and compassion for people's wellbeing as the church.

"I'd like to thank all our partners and volunteers for their time and dedication to this years Carols Under The Arch service. It could not have happened without all their support."

Abersychan councillor Giles Davies said: "In my wildest dreams I never thought Carols Under The Arch would take off as it has when the idea was first put forward, remembering the first meetings held with Pastor John in 2016 regarding arranging some type of Carol Service for Christmas, we estimated about 40 or 50 people might attend, then 500 turned up.

"It’s inspirational to see the event grow year on year and seeing many of the local community attend, the whole experience with the illuminated arch, band and acoustics, makes the whole event magical, a real Victorian feel and a memory maker to look back on.

"I have never heard of this type of event before on this scale within the valleys, seeing the crowds walking to the event on December 23 was unbelievable, estimations of around 1,000 people attending a Carol Service in Abersychan!

"I can’t thank Noddfa Church enough for their partnership working and what they do within the ward I am blessed to represent."