“You may have one light to give, but I hope to give everyone a little light this Christmas.”
Based on Max Lucado’s best-selling novella of the same name, The Christmas Candle is a feel-good movie for all ages about strength found in unity and the power of faith. Disillusioned and progressive Reverend David Richmond is pulled out of retirement to serve the parish in the tiny village of Gladbury as Christmas approaches. Arriving in town, he’s immediately at odds with the traditional townsfolk who believe that every 25 years an angel visits the Haddington candle shop and touches just one special candle. Whoever lights the candle and prays will be granted a miracle on Christmas Eve.
After experiencing personal tragedy, Richmond scorns the idea of the candle as the sole means of a miracle and, together with the charming local shopkeeper, Emily Barstow, decides to bring Gladbury into the modern age. Richmond is struggling with doubts about his faith and decides to set a practical example for the congregation, answering several people’s prayers through acts of kindness. He hopes to inspire the community to help each other and before long, the villagers are inspired to lend their neighbours a helping hand. This begins to foster a spirit of unity among the parishioners – a miracle in itself!
With central themes of faith, community, redemption and the strength of the human spirit, The Christmas Candle sends a message of hope this Christmas for all who are feeling weary from a busy or discouraging year, as well as those battling their own doubts and insecurities.
The good people of Gladbury learn the valuable lessons of honesty, togetherness and never giving up, demonstrated throughout the unflinching courage of each main character in the story. Whether it’s rebuilding a fence, praying for a sick neighbour or redeeming someone who’s made a mistake, the people of Gladbury realise that coming together in friendship is more important than any of their individual squabbles and opinions.
The film stars Hans Matheson from 300: Rise of an Empire and Samantha Barks from Les Misérables, not to mention devout Christian and singer Susan Boyle debuting in a feature film. When asked about her involvement in the movie, Boyle said, “Everyone on set is a delight to work with, and it’s a fantastic experience to be part of the team.”
The movie is family-friendly (rated PG) and would make a great Christmas gift or fun addition to your family’s movie collection. The Christmas Candle is an easy, heart-warming watch, sure to fill you with Christmas spirit and inspire you to reach out to your family and friends in love this December.
Reviewed by: Lil van Wyngaard – Veritatis Publishing
 Kemp, S 2013, Susan Boyle to Make Feature Film Debut, <https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/susan-boyle-make-feature-film-425121>, accessed 1 December 2020.