Posted: 18 November 2019

Christingle service ideas and marmalade recipes

Joanie Newell, one of our Christingle heroes, shares her top tips for organising Christingle services and making the most of all those leftover oranges.

The magic of Christingle

I regularly organise Christingle services at my church, which I’ve been a part of for a long time. My husband first started going here in 1942 and our community continues to be really important to me. 

Christmas is a special time for us and we have lots going on. There’s Christmas tree decorating, carols and of course, our busy Christingle service. 

We get about 250 people together for a Christingle celebration. I like to involve the Scouts and Beaver groups who are part of our local community. I give them collection candles to take home and fill up, then they excitedly return with their filled-up boxes. It’s a good way to encourage them to come along to Christingle, as well as to feel part of our community. 

'The most important part of fundraising is that it's fun'

I began supporting The Children’s Society because two of my children were adopted through the organisation. I’m inspired to make a difference because they have given me so much. That’s why I’ve been celebrating Christinglefor so long.

Mother with adoptive son

I can remember doing it for years – a highlight of my time organising for The Children’s Society was taking coins I’d collected to the Queen Mother. It’s amazing to feel part of something bigger. 

The most important part of fundraising is that it’s fun. We make it fun. If it’s not fun, you won’t get anywhere. 


Recipe for success

Every year, I make marmalade with the remaining oranges. Lots of people don’t know what to do with them but I think this is a great way to ensure there’s no waste. 

At the end of a Christingle service, I ask everyone to put their oranges in a trolley at the back of church. I then use a recipe passed down from my grandma to make jars of Christingle maramade. I sell these for £1.50 a jar, raising even more money for a fantastic cause.

Joanie Newell's marmalade recipe:


  • 6 oranges (at least 2 Seville oranges)*
  • 2 lemons 
  • 2 pints of apple juice
  • 4 pounds of sugar
  • 2 packets of pectin

Cook on the hob for 30-40 minutes, stirring regularly

* Seville oranges give this marmalade a distinctive flavour. Seville oranges are only in the shops for the month of January (perfect for your Christingle service in the New Year). I find the oranges freeze well for six months and are much easier to cut finely when frozen. Just cut the fruit into four and slice all the fruit (not just the rind). When you cannot get Seville oranges, add another two lemons.

By Joanie Newell

Read more

Planning Your Christingle Event

Posted: 24 October 2018


Read more

Christingle resources

Posted: 24 October 2018


Read more

Celebrating 50 years of Christingle

Posted: 24 October 2018