Christmas Carols for Penny Brohn UK

6 December 2017


Last night, 375 Old Stoics, Current and Former Parents and Friends of Stowe gathered at Chelsea Old Church to welcome in the festive season. We were overwhelmed with the popularity of the occasion and were thrilled that the church was full to the brim for our inaugural Christmas Carol Service, with no seats left spare!

Helena Vince (Queen’s, Lower VI) opened the proceedings with a fiercely beautiful solo verse of Once in Royal David’s City, before the Choir and Congregation joined the throng. The service was led by the charismatic Reverend Canon David Reindorp TD DL and included a number of popular congregational carols. Miranda Raison (Lyttelton 95) read A Visit from St Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore and Cressida Bonas (Nugent 07) performed an extract from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The newly formed Old Stoic Choir sang a beautiful rendition of Infant Holy by David Willcocks. HeHehENick Bayley (Stowe Drama Teacher) had the church in fits of giggles with his performance of Probably the Best Christmas Cake!

The service was held in memory of Abby Webb (Nugent 09). Abby passed away, aged 24, on 9 December 2015 in the Royal Brompton Hospital, London with her family (Mum Georgie, Dad John and Brother Pip) by her side, following a six-month battle with Large Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, a rare type of lung cancer. Tracy Jones (Head of French), who was a close friend, read a poem in memory of Abby. Florence Hopewell (Nugent 09) gathered friends to perform the part song piece that Abby performed in 2008, winning the House singing competition. It was a beautiful rendition of Mika’s Happy Ending and provided a particularly moving end to the service.

A collection was taken in aid of Penny Brohn UK, a wonderful charity that provides respite care for those suffering with cancer. We are delighted to announce we raised a total of £1,177.29 for Penny Brohn UK, who provided Abby with comfort, comradery and support during her fight. 

Following the service, the crowds spilled into Petyt Hall and its charming fairy lit courtyard for delicious mulled wine and mince pies. The atmosphere was festive and jovial: it was a delight to see so many Old Stoics and Friends of Stowe coming together to catch up with friends before Christmas, whilst remembering Abby Webb and supporting such an excellent cause.
Anna Semler (Nugent 05)
Old Stoic Society Director