In the lead to up the 30th anniversary of Chelmsford City Council’s and Backnang’s twinning partnership, two advent candles have made their way over to Chelmsford from Backnang this December, with the aim to unify both communities.
Backnang in Germany, has been twinned with Chelmsford since 1990 and the year 2020 will mark our 30th anniversary. At a time where the world sees many divisions, we believe messages of love, sharing and unity are ever more important — especially poignant during the Christmas holidays.
From schools and markets to orchestras, colleges and sports clubs - there have been a wide variety of exchanges between the two destinations. However, a significant number of residents in the city are unfamiliar with Chelmsford’s twinning partnership with Backnang (also including a twinning with Annonay in France).
Over the next two years, in the build up to our 30th anniversary Ignite Chelmsford Cultural Partnership will work with the council’s Twinning Association and representatives from Backnang to co-ordinate a series of promotional events and activities. Our aim is to celebrate and raise the profile of our long-standing relationship and help both sides get to know one another - spanning all aspects of city life - economic, social and cultural.
To start our journey, three Christmas advent candles hand-crafted by a regional candle maker, were commissioned. Two candles have been sent over to Chelmsford where one will remain in Chelmsford Cathedral and the other will tour six different destinations, showcasing different parts of the city’s community and collecting Christmas messages along the way. The third has remained in Backnang and will make a similar tour.
On 1 December, the touring candle started its journey at the Bearded Gypsy Christmas Pop up store in Meadows shopping centre. The candle was lit for the first time and everyone shared a moment to reflect and wrote messages of unity to be sent to Backnang.
The candle will continue its journey to the Ideas Hub, Mencap Chelmsford, Admiral’s Reach Care Home, Margaretting Primary School throughout December and will return to Chelmsford City Council’s Civic Centre on 22 December, complete with photographs, gifts and messages of unity to be exchanged with Backnang in the new year.
Councillor Susan Sullivan, cabinet member for Cultural Strategy said: “The tour of the Backnang advent candle around Chelmsford is a fantastic way, to bring our two communities together and promote our unity, especially around the Christmas period.”
Find more information about the Chelmsford and Backnang Twinning, visit www.chelmsfordtowntwinning.org.uk or www.backnang-chelmsford.de. Follow the candle’s journey via Ignite Chelmsford’s Facebook page, @Ignitechelmsford or Twitter using the hashtag #TwinningCandle.
Friday 7 December 2018