King’s Lynn’s longest-serving choirgirl Olwyn Barber to appear on BBC’s Songs of Praise
- Credit: Ian Burt
One of the UK's longest-serving choirgirls is to be featured on the BBC's Songs of Praise to mark her 70 years of hitting the high notes.
A special service was held at St Faith's Church, Gayton Road, Gaywood to commemorate Olwyn Barber.
Before the morning service on Sunday, April 30, 82-year-old Mrs Barber was interviewed by Songs of Praise presenter and Gogglebox star Revd Julie Bottley.
Asked what motivated her to join the choir in 1947 when she was just 12 - and what made her continue singing for seven decades - she said: 'I'd be lost if I didn't have any singing to do, and the church is the best place to share your gift.
'I did a lot of solo singing in my young days but my voice is not in tip-top condition now that I've matured!
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'There are so many churches that do not have a choir at all, so I feel very lucky that we have one.'
After being initially nervous about the interview and appearing on television for the first time in her life, Mrs Barber felt at ease with her friends and family around her.
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The film crew recorded the entire service and interviewed St Faith's rector, Revd Julian Boyd, churchwarden Richard Parr and other members of the congregation.
A short segment of the service will appear on the show in the upcoming weeks.
Mrs Barber said she felt both nervous and excited to see herself on TV.
She was awarded a certificate by the Royal Church of School Music and a congratulatory letter from the Bishop of Lynn before celebrating her long service with the church choir, with a specially-made sponge cake made by fellow choir member Sue Benstead.
'It was so uplifting to have everybody there, I never expected it was going to snowball and have so many people interested.' Mrs Barber added.
Mr Parr said: 'All of us at St Faith's feel richly blessed to have Olwyn as a member of our choir for all these years and we hope that she will continue to help lead the singing at services for as long as she wishes to.'