A PAIR of charity concerts at a Halesowen church are set to get the town into the Christmas spirit – while helping those less fortunate.

St John’s Church is preparing to host two concerts on Monday, December 4, and Saturday, December 9, to help youngsters in Africa.

The first, beginning at 7.30pm, is being led by The Keiskamma Music Academy as part of its UK Tour and has been made possible by Katryn Leclezio – vicar of St Peter's in Cradley – through her links with South Africa.

Based in Hamburg on The Eastern Cape of South Africa, the academy gives children the life changing opportunity to become highly skilled musicians under the direction of professionals.

The academy is part of the Keiskamma Trust, a not-for-profit organisation, which through health, art and now music initiatives was set up to fight poverty and HIV AIDS in the communities near the Keiskamma River.

The concert at St John’s is free, with a retiring collection to be given to the charity, while light refreshments will be available.

Margaret Pickford, of St John’s Church, said: “It would be great to have support from the people of Halesowen for what promises to be an exciting evening.”

The church’s annual Charity Christmas Coffee Concert will return on December 9 at 10.15am, with the supported cause this year helping to build a school in a village in Ghana.

The work is supported by a teacher at Lordswood Girls’s School, in Birmingham, and as well as the ‘home grown’ performers taking part in the concert, some of the girls from Lordswood will also be performing.

The Christmas concert is also free, with seasonal refreshments available and the retiring collection being given to the charity.