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22 December 2015

Hillsong hosts another sell-out carol service in Wembley

Hillsong hosts another sell-out carol service in Wembley

More than 20,000 people flocked to Wembley this weekend to attend Hillsong's carol service.

The Evangelical Alliance member church packed out the SSE Arena for two performances on Sunday afternoon, featuring film, dance and live music that told the Christmas story.

Hillsong Carols is in its fifth year in London and is bigger than ever, with an extra showing planned for next year to cope with demand for tickets.

The nativity story was intertwined with well-known carols – albeit with a makeover.

Every song received a deafening applause, but standout performances included The Voice's runner-up Leah McFall singing Noel and an acapella rendition of Silent Night, complete with beatboxing.

Former X Factor contestant Anton Stephans also made a surprise performance, singing a passionate and worshipful rendition of O Holy Night

The 45-year-old, who made it to the live shows of the ITV programme last month, went to Hillsong Carols in 2014 and had to sit at the back with a friend. Pastor Gary Clarke praised God for what He had done in the singer's life over the last 12 months. 

Anton Stephans wrote on Twitter that he felt "privileged" to be taking part this year, and that he was "super excited".

But the creative production didn't eclipse the message. Before closing, the good news was "put into context", with an explanation of God's love not only being available to "boys and girls who have been good" – like Christmas presents – but to everyone who seeks it.

An opportunity to make a commitment to follow Jesus was then given, before Joy to the World – Hillsong style – was sung once again. 

The atmosphere was electric and people across the arena were singing and dancing throughout. 

Following Carols, people took to Twitter to praise the event. Femi Oni wrote: "Best carols ever. Kudos to the @HillsongLondon crew for an excellent production tonight. A prodigious output in the honour of the King."

Olly Ryder ‏added: "Well done @HillsongLondon spectacular carols - 'God is not mad at us; he's mad with love for us' Happy Christmas!"

And Simon Head said: "@HillsongLondon Just wow. Kudos to everyone involved in today's #HillsongCarols show. That was one awesome celebration."

If you missed Hillsong Carols, you can watch the whole service on the Hillsong YouTube Channel on Christmas Eve here at 7.30pm.

Alternatively, UCB TV will broadcast Carols on Christmas Eve at 8pm, Christmas Day at 12:30pm and Sunday, 27 December at 2pm.