Prince Charles delights with visit to north Norfolk church
- Credit: Hanne Siebers
Prince Charles delighted a north Norfolk community with a visit to a village church concert.
The Prince of Wales, who is patron of the charity Music in Country Churches, was among more than 300 guests at St Margaret's Church in Cley for the Serenades for the Summer performance by the English Chamber Orchestra strings on July 26.
Anthea de Loynes, chair of the Friends of Wiveton Church, which organised the concert, said: "It was the most amazing event. [Prince Charles] was very relaxed and as he left the church he said what a wonderful event it was.
"We were absolutely delighted."
She said the prince also asked about the fundraising effort for the neighbouring Wiveton church, which was temporarily forced to close after a storm in 2019 when a roof beam fell from the ceiling and crashed onto the altar.
Efforts to secure enough money for ceiling repairs are well under way with the church boosted by a Heritage Lottery grant.
And a Crowdfunder campaign backed by Wiveton Hall owner and Normal for Norfolk star Desmond MacCarthy and ceramics firm director Emma Bridgewater contributed more than £25,000 towards the repairs, which are due to start next year.
Proceeds from the concert will also go towards the church repairs.
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Mr MacCarthy and Mrs Bridgewater were among the other VIP guests at the concert, along with Matthew Rice, Nigel Savory, Sir John Parsons, Mirabel Cecil and Harriet Evans-Lombe.
Nicola Dempsey, Charles Killin, Nigel Short, Tim Ambler, Shannon and Hannah Stevenson and David Barron were also there.
Stephanie Gonley led the orchestra, which featured world famous Australian classical guitarist Craig Ogden and a world premier of a guitar concerto by William Lovelady.
Prince Charles spoke to guests at the concert's interval and again outside the church after the music had concluded.
Music in Country Churches was set up in 1989 with the support of Prince Charles to fundraise for the repair and maintenance of churches.
It has given concerts in over 55 churches and raised more than £600,000.