Look at hymn! Singing Rev belts ‘em out

Rev Edward Woodcock of St Edward the Confessor Church with singing helpers Colin Dean, Dora Bellamy, Maud Sheard, Kathleen Mitchell, Anne Davies, Peter Sainter, Colin Sutcliffe.

Rev Edward Woodcock of St Edward the Confessor Church with singing helpers Colin Dean, Dora Bellamy, Maud Sheard, Kathleen Mitchell, Anne Davies, Peter Sainter, Colin Sutcliffe.

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A singing Reverend will belt out all 596 hymns in his church songbook in just two weeks, as part of an unusual musical fundraising event to help repair St Edward’s Church in Brotherton.

The church’s Rev Edward Woodcock started the mammoth sing-a-thon last week, two months after he was told the building needed extensive restoration.

Rev Woodcock said: “St Edward’s Church was built in around 1836 and the stone work is beginning to deteriorate.

“We had an inspection done in June or July and the bottom line was that the church needs £250,000 of repairs.

“We are requesting funding help from the Heritage Lottery Fund but we are trying to raise as much money as we can to contribute towards the costs.”

Rev Woodcock came up with the unusual fundraising stunt after reading about a singing vicar in a faith magazine.

Five local organists have been taking it in turns to play for Rev Woodcock as he sings at the historic church.

He said: “I saw the article around the time we got the architectural report for the church and mentioned the idea to the choir. All of a sudden it has taken off.

“People have turned up to observe the singing sessions or join in.

“It’s going really well and seems to have grabbed people’s imaginations.

“There has been a really good supportive response from the community.

“People have got behind it and donated money incredibly generously.”

Rev Woodcock 57 said he was “blessed” to have the support of this wife and children, who he said he had “not yet driven around the bend” with his constant singing.

He is hoping to have sung his way through the complete hymn book in just over a fortnight.