A SCHOOL choir's busy week of festivities came to an end with a rousing carol service.

The Barnard Castle School choir earlier led a carol service for boarding pupils, followed by a mid-week service for friends of the school, former colleagues and parents of old boys and girls.

The school chapel was packed for the final time before Christmas for the end-of-term festival of nine lessons and carols. The concert was led by chaplain Stephen Ridley and director of music Mark Mawhinney.

The programme included "Hark! Hark! What News?", written by the school's new assistant director of music and organist, Matthew Atherton.

The collection raised more than £300 for Barnado's and the NSPCC and gifts were on sale afterwards in aid of Butterwick Hospice.

Headmaster David Ewart said: "This is one of the busiest, important and certainly most enjoyable weeks in the life of the school choir and chapel.

"We are very proud of our choir and they work extremely hard to maintain their excellent standard of singing."

* Entrance exams for Barnard Castle School take place on January 21 for sixth formers and February 4 for all other years. For more information, contact the school on (01833) 690222.