Norwich church singalong marks 700 years of ministry

A celebration singalong on Saturday, February 10 will help launch mark the 700th anniversary of the first recorded Christian ministry in Eaton village, a suburb of the city of Norwich and home to the medieval flint-built church of St Andrew’s.  It was here in 1318 that Geoffrey de Boton was installed as incumbent priest. Mike Wiltshire reports.

Gifted musicians Margaret Smith and Scott Morrison will lead the singalong with ‘music through the centuries’ at 7.30pm on February 10 – the first musical event in a year packed with celebrations at St. Andrew’s, the only thatched church in the city of Norwich.

Poignantly, this free-admission event will be the last singalong led by Margaret, the music director at St Andrews who has presented fourteen similar events over the years. “It makes sense to finish on a high,” says Margaret, who is chair of the trustees of Norwich Youth For Christ which this year celebrates its own 40th anniversary.

Singalong co-presenter Scott Morrison, 27, is an amazingly versatile musician, who plays at least seven instruments.   Scott teaches music at the prestigious Leys School in Cambridge.  Friends say “Scott can turn his hand to most things,” when it comes to playing instruments. Scott was greatly encouraged along his musical journey by the sixth form at Hewitt School, Norwich – and by Margaret Smith who first heard Scott at a singalong at Trinity Church, Norwich.

Local singers and instrumentalists are all invited to join the Eaton singalong -  “no rehearsal necessary,” says Scott. “But if you’d like to try the songs in advance, there is a rehearsal on Monday, February 5 at 7.30pm at St Andrews, and on Saturday February 10th  in the church from 9am-11am. All the music is available to borrow.”

“The programme will range from a bit of plainsong, Handel and Beethoven, to Rutter, Chilcott, Townsend, with some well-known hymns, a modern twist and some spirituals!  There will be a bit of everything!”

Celebration art and craft events, exhibitions, social events, an outdoor service and picnic in Eaton Park will be featured by St Andrew’s throughout the year. Admission to the February 10 singalong is free, with a retiring offering for Norwich Youth for Christ.

More details are available on 01603 453 010 or email

Pictured above: a recent singalong at St Andrew’s ‘new church’ centre, adjacent to the old thatched church, with gifted musicians Margaret Smith and Scott Morrison.

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