Woodford's Churchfield Choir disband after seven years but make plans for reunion

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The Churchfields choir with choir leader Jane Hawkes The Churchfields choir with choir leader Jane Hawkes

A South Woodford church bade farewell to its choir on Saturday evening, raising £1,260 in the process.

The Churchfields Singers, based at St Mary's in South Woodford, will now split to pursue higher education as choir leader Jane Hawkes returns to her family farm in Norfolk.

Throughout its lifespan the choir has memorised a repertoire of more than 90 songs since growing up together attending Churchfields Junior School.

The choir has sung in concerts, locally and in Germany, and taken part in many competitions, including getting top marks at Stratford Festival and performing in the BBC Choir of the Year.

Canon Ian Tarrant, Rector of St Mary’s, said: “When you train a choir like this, not only do you offer the world great music, you prepare the young people for life, giving them self-esteem, confidence and the ability to work as a team.”

Jane Hawkes said: “I certainly hope for a reunion at some point in the future.

“They are my daughters, we are a team.”

The proceeds of the concert were donated to the refurbishment appeal of the Memorial Hall next door to the church.

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