Choir quits in protest
- DAILY MAIL:
Heaven knows the congregation of St Peter and St Paul have endured enough upheaval in recent years. It started when a trendy new vicar arrived, raising eyebrows by preaching in a Hawaiian shirt, incorporating Leonard Cohen songs into his services, and dressing up as a circus clown.
Then Sam Norton went further, renaming 'Evensong' as 'Evenspeak' and introducing events such as 'parish brekkie'. But the final straw for many came when Reverend Norton, 39, sacked choirmaster, Professor Emeritus John Davies, 68, claiming he was responsible for a 'musical train wreck'.
The 20-strong choir - who are considered one of the best in the region and have performed in front of archbishops - promptly walked out in sympathy and now most of the churchgoers have done the same.
Last week fewer than 40 of them arrived at a morning service normally attended by 100. One member of the congregation, Tim Newman, said no-one could understand what had prompted Rev Norton's decision.
"John has led the choir wonderfully for many years. His wife is a fine soprano and is also a member and the singers have given immense pleasure to churchgoers. We are all trying to persuade the rector to reinstall John. The services are just not the same without him and the choir."