Bishop of Lynn swaps sermons for singing to perform at gala concert in Aylsham for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

He is used to public speaking when delivering sermons and performing religious ceremonies.

But the Bishop of Lynn is now turning his dulcet tones to singing to perform a specially penned song to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick has teamed up with north Norfolk singer/songwriter Jack Barratt to perform the piece - entitled Diamond Jubilee Waltz - which will have its debut at a gala concert in Aylsham next month.

Mr Barratt, a professional singer who has performed across the globe, wrote the song last Christmas with the intention of putting together a concert but was in need of a second voice to accompany him.

Through his fellow members of the Aylsham Band, in which he plays second trombone, the Happisburgh resident discovered Bishop Jonathan was a singer and approached him to join him in the duet.

Mr Barratt said: 'I didn't want a big choir, I wanted about four singers and was having difficulty getting singers to do this.

'We have people in the band who know Bishop Jonathan so I engaged him to narrate the evening and then I found out he can sing. And can the Bishop sing? You bet he can.'

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Bishop Jonathan, who will sing baritone for the performance while Mr Barratt will take the tenor part, said he was looking forward to show casing his vocal chords.

He said: 'I don't sing as much as I'd like to these days so as far as I'm concerned this is a wonderful opportunity both to fly the flag for a jubilee occasion but also to do some singing again.

'I think it's a great song. It's got a lovely lilting tune and it's got good solid, loyal lyrics.'

The concert on June 9 was described by Mr Barratt as a 'high class variety show' which will tell the Queen's story through narration from Bishop Jonathan and supporting musical and dance performances.

The Diamond Jubilee Waltz is set to be the highlight of the concert's programme and Mr Barratt has promised audiences an entertaining show with a cast iron guarantee.

'If nobody laughs you get your money back,' he said.

? The gala concert is being held at Aylsham Parish Church from 7.30pm. Tickets cost �7, including refreshments, and are available from James the Barber in Aylsham market place on 01263 732445.

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