A SERVICE will take place on Thursday to celebrate the 200th anniversary of one of the world’s most popular carols.

Silent Night – Stille Nacht will mark the bicentenary of the first performance of the famous song, composed by Joseph Mohr and put to music by Franz Gruber.

The song will be performed in German with a new English translation of the full six verses, and the service will take a look at the history and cultural significance of Silent Night.

The service will take place at the Unitarian Chapel in Cairo Street at 7pm start, and will be led by members of the Silent Night Society with music provided by Die Heilige Nacht Band.

Prayers and readings will be conducted in both English and German.

While several events will be celebrating the bicentenary in Austria and Germany, this is believed to be the only one of its kind to be held in Britain.

Andrew Page, a member of the Silent Night Society, said: “I would have liked to have gone to Oberndorf in Austria for the Christmas Eve celebrations but unfortunately I’m not able to this year.

"So I decided to bring something of Oberndorf to Warrington instead—the history, the traditions, the lost verses, the original tune, the folk instrumentals and, perhaps most importantly, something new for Christmas.

"It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Mohr and Gruber were doing something new rather than seeking to create traditions.”

Rev Bob Janis-Dillon, minister of the Unitarian Chapel, said: “While churches and organisations throughout the world will be celebrating this timeless carol as they honour the birth of the Christ child, this may be the only official Silent Night service held in the U.K.

"Our chapel has hosted many distinguished concerts and musicians over the years – and this will be a special part of that history."

Mulled wine will be served at the conclusion of the service, and a collection will be taken in aid of the Room at the Inn project.