A SWINDON-BORN adventurer was among the special guests at a carol service held to raise money for the Stroke Association.

David Hempleman-Adams read a passage from the Bible telling the story of Christmas to hundreds of guests at Marlborough College Chapel.

Blasts from the pipe organ and bursts of song from choirs, soloists and the crowd standing along the pews filled the air during the celebratory service.

Other big names who read out Christmas-themed pieces included BBC Points West newsreader Will Glennon, TV star Chris Tarrant, Viscountess Emma Weymouth, author Martin Stephen and poet Charly Cox.

Rachel Inglefield came up with the idea for the festive fundraiser – backed by the Gazette & Herald – and was delighted by how well it went.

She estimated that more than £40,000 had been raised from ticket sales and donations during the evening.

Rachel said: “I had a stroke in 2012, just after the birth of my son, and when I moved to Marlborough, I really wanted to do something to thank the charity that had helped me so much.

“I visited this beautiful chapel and thought about putting together a service. I’ve had amazing support from local businesses and residents - everyone wanted to be involved, it was incredible.

“The spirit of this town really shone, it astounded me, the tickets sold out in two days and people have been so generous with donations. We will see if we can do it again next year.”