Dr Who star John Hurt joins residents for special civic and community carol service in Cromer

David Pritchard, Mayor of Cromer, his daughter Bethan, John Hurt and mayoress Helen Pritchard at the special civic and carol service. Picture: submitted David Pritchard, Mayor of Cromer, his daughter Bethan, John Hurt and mayoress Helen Pritchard at the special civic and carol service. Picture: submitted

Monday, December 9, 2013
2:06 PM

Hundreds of people came together in fine voice to sing out at a special civic celebration and community carol service organised by Cromer’s mayor.

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David Pritchard was keen to make a return to a more traditional event, combining the church service with yuletide songs, when he hosted his fundraising afternoon on Sunday.

And he said he was “astonished” by the turn out of more than 450 people, which he thought was helped by the “John Hurt effect” as the film and TV legend appeared at the service to perform a reading.

The Dr Who star read a piece from Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales and delighted fans after the service by holding an impromptu autograph signing session.

Mr Pritchard said: “He was absolutely amazing. There was no indication he was going to be signing autographs but he sat patiently signing for many members of the congregation and the youth choir.

“And my daughter got the 50th anniversary edition of the Radio Times signed by him so that was nice.”

Also appearing at the service was the “brilliant” Broadland Youth Choir who led the congregation in familiar festive tunes including Once in Royal David’s City, Silent Night and Away in a Manger.

The event raised more than £550 for the “Mayor’s Mission”, which Mr Pritchard has put in place to raise funds for the repair or replacement of the first world war memorial in the grounds of Cromer Parish Church.

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