Birchencliffe people are in for a big surprise this Sunday when the cast of their church pantomime Aladdin will parade in full costume through the streets for a special service at St Philip’s Church.

Princesses, fairy queens, handsome princes and pantomime dames will gather together for the annual pantomime service which this year will be followed by the dedication of a community defibrillator for Birchencliffe – bought with funds raised from last year’s pantomime.

This potentially life-saving piece of equipment – bought on the advice of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service – has been installed outside Birchencliffe Community Centre and will be available at all times for local people to use in an emergency once they have dialled 999 and made contact with the ambulance service.

The first Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Rev Dr Jonathan Gibbs, will preach at the pantomime service and dedicate the defibrillator.

He said: “As a new bishop I am getting used to dressing in costume and pantomime is a wonderful way of bringing people together to have fun and to raise funds for such a good cause. It is great to see the church getting behind this brilliant scheme to provide a life-saving resource for the local community.”

The Rev Mary Railton-Crowder, vicar of St Cuthbert’s, Birkby and St Philip the Apostle Birchencliffe, and the Area Dean of Huddersfield, said: “This is a lovely opportunity for the church family to celebrate the way pantomime brings our community together and enables us to offer a ministry of welcome, hospitality and laughter.

“All the members of St Philip’s Dramatic Society (The Cliffites) will come in costume – we’ve warned Bishop Jonathan to expect a congregation of princesses, princes, fairy queens, dames, goodies and baddies – and some dancing in the aisles!”

A defibrillator
 

Aladdin will be performed by the Cliffites during half term week. Written by Steph Potts, a member of St Philips PCC, it has involved around 60 people of all ages – many whole family members – either on stage and behind the scenes. And this year even the vicar has been persuaded to join the chorus!

Aladdin runs from Tuesday, February 17 – Saturday February 21 at St Philip’s Community Centre. Evening performances are at 7.15pm with an additional Saturday matinee at 2.15pm.

Tickets are adults £6, concessions £5, children £3.

Tuesday night is charity night when the ticket sales will go to Music and The Deaf and that evening’s performance will be interpreted for the deaf by Rebekah Mills Strawson.

For tickets contact Ann Dyson on 01484 537357.

Please ask when booking for the Tuesday performance if you require seats which give access to the interpreter.