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Former chorister Ed Sheeran backs Ipswich church singing project

PUBLISHED: 01:15 08 September 2018

The St Mary-le-Tower choir in Ipswich Picture: ST MARY-LE-TOWER IPSWICH PCC

The St Mary-le-Tower choir in Ipswich Picture: ST MARY-LE-TOWER IPSWICH PCC

Archant

A Suffolk church is singing the praises of pop star Ed Sheeran – after he agreed to encourage the tradition of singing in the community.

The St Mary-le-Tower choir in Ipswich Picture: ST MARY-LE-TOWER IPSWICH PCCThe St Mary-le-Tower choir in Ipswich Picture: ST MARY-LE-TOWER IPSWICH PCC

The 27-year-old multi-award winning internationally-renowned singer has taken on the role as the new Patron of the Choral Foundation for St Mary-le-Tower, in Ipswich.

The singer, who once sang in a church choir in Suffolk as a child, will promote singing at the church and in the wider community.

Ed said “I am thrilled to be asked to be Patron. As a former chorister myself, I appreciate the benefits which singing brings to young people both physical and emotional.

‘‘Singing teaches you lots of skills and provides many opportunities which will help, enrich and sustain you throughout life.

Ed Sheeran with his Global Success award at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena Picture: IAN WEST/PA WIREEd Sheeran with his Global Success award at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena Picture: IAN WEST/PA WIRE

“There is nothing equal to the joy of performing wonderful music with other like-minded people.”

Jonathan Hunt, chairman of the Trustees of the Foundation said: “I am very proud to be associated with Ipswich’s highly ambitious and successful church choir. The high standards are very much driven by the talented, local, young people, both boys and girls, whose achievements are equal to those of many cathedral choirs across the country.

“We are extremely grateful and honoured that Ed has agreed to be our patron.”

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “We know that singing and music-making can bring a very great deal to individual and community development.

Ed Sheeran Picture: PA WIREEd Sheeran Picture: PA WIRE

“Ed Sheeran’s patronage of the Foundation will give a huge encouragement to singing projects right across the county, as well as at St Mary’s. Who knows what talents lie undiscovered in our neighbourhoods and villages!”

Each year, the Foundation puts on a festive candle-lit performance of Handel’s Messiah, with professional orchestra and soloists, with the choirs of St Mary-le-Tower and friends from the wider community.

In the last two years the number of children singing in the choir has more than doubled and most children come from state schools.

Not only does the choir sing services at St Mary’s but the music department is also embarking on an outreach programme taking singing into schools and the wider community.

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