Prince Charles delights with visit to north Norfolk church

Prince Charles pictured with Matthew Rice and Patricia Parnell outside Cley church

Prince Charles pictured with Matthew Rice and Patricia Parnell outside Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event. - 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."

Prince Charles at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event.

Prince Charles at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

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.

Prince Charles speaks to guests at the concert.

Prince Charles speaks to guests at the concert. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Most Read

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. 

Desmond McCarthy and Harriet Evans-Lombe pictured with Prince Charles at the Cley church concert.

Desmond McCarthy and Harriet Evans-Lombe pictured with Prince Charles at the Cley church concert. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

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.

Prince Charles and other guests leave Cley church after the concert. 

Prince Charles and other guests leave Cley church after the concert. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles and other guests leaving Cley church after the concert.

Prince Charles and other guests leaving Cley church after the concert. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles chats to the Wiveton church team on his visit to Cley church.

Prince Charles chats to the Wiveton church team on his visit to Cley church. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles speaks to writer and illustrator Matthew Rice leaving the Cley church concert with other guests. 

Prince Charles speaks to writer and illustrator Matthew Rice leaving the Cley church concert with other guests. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Pictured with Prince Charles on his visit to Cley

Pictured with Prince Charles on his visit to Cley church are Brenda Lawry, Matthew Rice and Richard Lawry. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles on his visit to Cley church for a Music in Country Churches concert.

Prince Charles on his visit to Cley church for a Music in Country Churches concert. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

The English Chamber Orchestra strings performed at Cley church to an audience including Prince Charles.

The English Chamber Orchestra strings performed at Cley church to an audience including Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Composer Arthur Keegan-Bole at the Music in Country Churches event at Cley church attended by Prince Charles.

Composer Arthur Keegan-Bole at the Music in Country Churches event at Cley church attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Beatriz Kira at the Music in Country Churches event at Cley church attended by Prince Charles.

Beatriz Kira at the Music in Country Churches event at Cley church attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

From left, Christopher Penn, Sabrina Penn, Annabel Savory and Janie Cator at the Cley

From left, Christopher Penn, Sabrina Penn, Annabel Savory and Janie Cator at the Cley church concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles talks to church warden David Barron at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. 

Prince Charles talks to church warden David Barron at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles talks to church warden David Barron at the Music in Country Churches concert

Prince Charles talks to church warden David Barron at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

The English Chamber Orchestra strings performed at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. 

The English Chamber Orchestra strings performed at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Craig Ogden at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. 

Craig Ogden at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Craig Ogden and the English Chamber Orchestra at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. 

Craig Ogden and the English Chamber Orchestra at the Music in Country Churches concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Desmond McCarthy at the Music in Country Churches concert at Cley church attended by Prince Charles. 

Desmond McCarthy at the Music in Country Churches concert at Cley church attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Emma Bridgewater at the Cley church concert attended by Prince Charles.

Emma Bridgewater at the Cley church concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Harriet Evans-Lombe at the Cley church concert attended by Prince Charles.

Harriet Evans-Lombe at the Cley church concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Guests including Prince Charles, Lord Dannatt, Matthew Rice, Phil Burnett and Lady Dannatt at the Cley church concert.

Guests including Prince Charles, Lord Dannatt, Matthew Rice, Phil Burnett and Lady Dannatt at the Cley church concert. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles and other guests leave the Cley church concert. 

Prince Charles and other guests leave the Cley church concert. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles speaks to guests at the Cley church concert. 

Prince Charles speaks to guests at the Cley church concert. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Janie Cator and Lord Dannatt at the Cley church concert attended by Prince Charles. 

Janie Cator and Lord Dannatt at the Cley church concert attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Anthea de Loynes, left, and Nicola Dempsey at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country

Anthea de Loynes, left, and Nicola Dempsey at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Prince Charles at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event.

Prince Charles at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Nicola Dempsey Simon Burgess at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event attended by Prince Charles.

Nicola Dempsey Simon Burgess at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event attended by Prince Charles. - Credit: Hanne Siebers

Sir John Parsons talks to Prince Charles at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event.

Sir John Parsons talks to Prince Charles at Cley church, which hosted a Music in Country Churches event. - Credit: Hanne Siebers