Gallery: Congregation enjoy one of East Anglia’s largest Methodist gatherings

The Methodist Songs of Praise service held at the Thursford Collection. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Methodist Songs of Praise service held at the Thursford Collection. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Almost 1,000 people gathered at the event held at the Thursford Collection, near Fakenham, and is considered one of the largest Methodist events to be held in East Anglia.

People were surrounded by the venue's collection of showmen's engines and fairground organs to enjoy the annual service of the Central Norfolk Circuit's Songs of Praise.

It is understood to be among the largest gatherings in the country.

Stephen Lynn, one of the organisers, said: 'It is such a special event on our calendar – people have travelled from across the country to be here.'

Yesterday's event also raises thousands of pounds for charity with this year's chosen cause being the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Mr Lynn said: 'We also try and theme the order of worship around the charity we're fundraising for.

'We wanted to get the healing and rescue elements of the charity across with the event, and have chosen hymns and readings to represent its work of helping people who may be in trouble.'

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An additional element this year included the entire afternoon being signed for the hearing impaired. This was done by the Rev Anne Richardson, well-known in Norfolk for her ministry among the deaf community.

'We've had a number of people join the congregation this year because of this,' added Mr Lynn.

Last year the event raised £4,500 for East Anglia's Children's Hospices and is among a series of fundraisers held at popular venue.

John Cushing, at the Thursford Collection, said: 'Last year, in total we raised around £70,000 through events such as this.

'It is such a popular gathering and we are more than happy to host.'

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