Mardling and music show to boost Alby church funds

A big community effort is being launched to make Alby parish church safe for future generations. And the scattered village near Aylsham knows it has to come together in the name of survival.

St Ethelbert's is in urgent need of major refurbishment, the roof causing most problems as rain seeps through. Just to fix that will soak up about �70,000 of fundraising.

Efforts are being made to involve local businesses in this and other determined drives to pay for repairs with a special show to spread the message fixed for Saturday, June 23.

An Evening of Mardling and Music with a potent local flavour will be staged in the church as Cromer-based writer and entertainer Keith Skipper joins forces with old friend Ian Prettyman, himself a Methodist preacher from Lowestoft.

Keith will share favourite church and chapel yarns, reflections and a Norfolk dialect Bible reading while Ian provides songs and musical items, including a medley on his trusty melodeon. This forms part of their tour of local churches in 2012.

'Our programme with that lighter touch could well appeal to those who don't make a habit of going to church' said Keith. 'This splendid old building in Alby, like many rural churches, has to rely on a small number of regulars. When I heard they were confronted with the prospect of raising many thousands of pounds just to make it safe, I jumped at the chance to help.'

Tickets for the show, which starts at 7.30 pm, are �10, including refreshments. They can be obtained from The Doll Shop at Alby Crafts, Postles of Aylsham, Lee's Pet Shop, Bond Street, Cromer, or from churchwarden Rosalyn Holden on 01263 833604.

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