Catholic priests and their talented parishioners hope music will be the icebreaker this weekend when they hold two nights of fundraising at Middlesbrough Theatre.
They will be ‘Rocking in the Aisles’ for the 16th time in a night of music and entertainment in aid of Middlesbrough Catholic Fellowship for those with additional needs.
In an event that has become a fixture in the calendar since its inception in 1996, rocking priests from the Diocese of Middlesbrough will be led by folk act, the Chancey Brothers, comprising Canon Eddie Gubbins, Fr Pat Keogh, Fr Pat Hartnett and Rev Pat Thomas.
Rev Len Collins, deacon at Middlesbrough Cathedral and chaplain at James Cook University Hospital, will star in a Neil Diamond tribute act, while Fr Paul Farrer will lead The Scratch Band.
Children from Spotlight School of Performing Arts in Middlesbrough and Redcar will take to the stage, along with local mystery magician, The Great Eamondo.
There will also be songs from the shows by talented 14-year-old Alanis Beckett, from Bridlington, the recent winner of Pope Idol, the annual talent contest run by Middlesbrough Diocesan Youth Service.
Rocking in the Aisles has proved a great success over the years with local priests and young people giving their time free of charge and the local community responding in great numbers.
Fr Paul Farrer, who has organised the event with the Diocesan Youth Mission Team, said: “It is great to have such a talented group of people who are willing to give their time year on year.
“But this year, for the first time, tickets have sold only slowly so far, so I’d ask anyone out there to please come along, support a great local cause and have a memorable night out.
“I know this is a difficult time economically, but we should never forget how much good we can do when we get together to support events like this. Now, more than ever, we need to stick together as an area, as a town and as a community.”
Performances take place on the evenings of Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28. Tickets, priced £8.50 each or £28 for a Family Ticket (2 Adults, 2 Children), are available from the theatre by calling 01642 81 51 81, Mission House on 01642 822056 or Chris Tillotson on 01642 324043.