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'It's one of the highlights of my Christmas'- help bring back memories for Ken

PUBLISHED: 19:30 19 December 2019

Ken Brock has been choirmaster at St Mary at Stoke church Ipswich for 50 years Picture: ARCHANT

Ken Brock has been choirmaster at St Mary at Stoke church Ipswich for 50 years Picture: ARCHANT

A candlelit carol service is set to mark an Ipswich choirmaster's 50th year as he receives treatment for cancer.

In this picture of the St Mary's at Stoke church choir in 1970 Ken Brock can be seen back row forth from the left  Picture: ANN HURSTIn this picture of the St Mary's at Stoke church choir in 1970 Ken Brock can be seen back row forth from the left Picture: ANN HURST

Ken Brock 83, who grew up in Philip Road in Ipswich, started as a choirboy at St Mary at Stoke Church in September 1943, taking over as choirmaster in 1969.

Mr Brock - who was diagnosed with the early stages of liver cancer in September - is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the same time of caring for his wife May, who has dementia.

Speaking about how much the carol service means to him, Mr Brock said: "It's one of the highlights of my Christmas.

"The attendance isn't quite what it used to be but we are hoping some old members of the choir might turn up and have a coffee with us and reminisce.

"It would be great to see some old faces, even if I might not recognise them all.

"I like to think it is a traditional carol service - it's candlelit and very atmospheric. We are a small choir but we try our best."

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Ken's daughter Ann Hurst, 50, added: "The church and the choir has always been a big part of dad's life.

From left:  Ken Brock, Ken Parker and John Barbrook will all be performing at the church in Ipswich this Sunday Picture: ARCHANTFrom left: Ken Brock, Ken Parker and John Barbrook will all be performing at the church in Ipswich this Sunday Picture: ARCHANT

"I think it is incredible that dad has been choirmaster for 50 years and because he has been unwell recently, it would be lovely to see some familiar faces in the congregation."

In the run up to the carol service, Mrs Hurst has been sharing nostalgic pictures of the choir in the Ipswich Remembers Facebook group.

As well as her father, the pictures include John Barbrook and Ken Parker - who are also stalwarts of the St Mary's at Stoke Church choir.

Mrs Hurst said despite moving away to different parts of Ipswich, all three men return to the church each Sunday.

The service is being held this Sunday, December 22 at 4pm.

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