Silent night as carols cut

COFFS HARBOUR'S best-loved Christmas tradition is over.

The Coffs Coast Carols have been a favourite family fixture for years, but the organisers have pulled out due to a lack of corporate financial support.

LifeHouse Church has staged the carols at the Coffs Harbour Showground for the past two years and congregation leaders say they're bitterly disappointed that it can't continue.

“A very important component is business support through sponsorship and financial support from (Coffs Harbour City) council but not enough of that support has come in this year,” said LifeHouse operations manager Mark Wray.

“McDonald's Coffs Harbour is very generous each year and they were willing to do the same this year. We were offered a $2500 grant from the council but last year they gave us more than that. “We needed more financial support to put it on this year – also this year our costs have gone up. We don't want to run a small event but it's not a ridiculous amount of money we need.”

The council's director of corporate business, Craig Milburn, confirmed the council as one of the sponsors of the carols had offered LifeHouse Church $2500 for this year's event.

“They run it and we have nothing to do with organising it,” he said.

Mr Wray said LifeHouse Church had loved organising and hosting the carols.

“We really have put a lot of effort into it. It takes a big volunteer resource to pull it off – it takes a team of 350 volunteers each time and with a lot of these guys their sole job is to welcome people in.

“That large team of people has really loved it and really enjoyed doing it. They've enjoyed putting something on for the families in Coffs Harbour at a great time of year.

“Next year we are open to doing it and one thing we're discussing with our team is what level of financial support we need to do it.”

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