A midwife who spent a year working with singers in Africa has been inspired to start a gospel choir in the district.

Jane Walker, 54, travelled to Swaziland with her husband Paul, who is the minister at Epping Green Chapel, in 2009.

She worked as a nurse and set up a choir for men coming off illegal drugs and another for women who had been victims of domestic violence.

She said: “I thought that when I came back, I would have to do something like that.

“When people sing together, it uplifts them. I want to take that sort of energy and transfer it.

“People won’t have to be Christian to join, but they will be largely gospel songs.”

The couple and their sons Stephen and Peter and daughter-in-law Bethan, together with Mrs Walker’s twin sister Susan Packer, niece Laura and father Tony Perry, recorded a charity album, Gratitude, to raise money for an orphanage in Swaziland last year.

Mrs Walker plans to hold informal auditions for the choir, which will be called Community Spirit, on February 7 at the Epping Green Chapel, opposite the Traveller’s Friend pub from 7pm to 8.30pm.