A choir raised about £2,000 for charity when it took its popular annual carol service to the streets of West Norfolk.

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The King’s Lynn Festival Chorus usually holds its yearly festive event in front of 600 people at the town’s St Nicholas’ Chapel.

However the ongoing £2.7m restoration at the ancient church in St Ann’s Street meant the 100-strong choir had to have a rethink.

Instead of finding another location, members decided they would hold a day-long outdoor carol-a-thon to raise awareness about what they do, with two performances outside the King’s Lynn bus station and the Sainsbury’s supermarket in Hardwick Road.

Conductor Tom Appleton said: “Our main concert venue is St Nicholas’ Chapel but because it is undergoing restoration work, it put us in a sticky place.

“We began thinking about what to do and thought holding this carol-a-thon was a really nice way for us to get out into the community and try to increase awareness of the choir in the town.”

The rather more public venue clearly struck a chord with people as they completed their Christmas shopping.

The performers collected about £800 during the day, with more money coming in through sponsorship.

They decided to raise the cash for Motor Neurone Disease Association, after two members of the choir died from the generative illness in the past six months.

Mr Appleton admitted that the work of the choir had perhaps been unknown to many West Norfolk residents in the past.

He added: “There are some barriers to people hearing about us and our concerts, in that they have to come into church, they have to pay for tickets and think they have to know something about Bach.

“We’re certainly looking at ways we can do more in the community. We are hoping the carol-a-thon can become a regular event.”

Marian Abramovich, who is also from the King’s Lynn Festival Chorus, said: “Rather than find a different indoor venue, we thought we would take our music out to the public and at the same time raise money to help people with motor neurone disease, which has affected two of our members.”

The first performance outside the King’s Lynn bus station ran from 10am to 4.30pm on Saturday.

Members then travelled to Sainsbury’s for a two-hour performance from 5pm, with about 40 singers joining in at any one time throughout the day.

Are you organising a Christmas event in West Norfolk? Let Andrew Papworth know by calling 01553 778681 or emailing andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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