Gaywood woman’s seven decades of service to church choir is celebrated

St Faith's Church, Gaywood, Spring Fair, being opened by Olwyn Barber, who has been a choirgirl for 70 years at the church
St Faith's Church, Gaywood, Spring Fair, being opened by Olwyn Barber, who has been a choirgirl for 70 years at the church

A chorister who is believed to be one of the country’s longest-serving members of the same church choir is to be celebrated for her 70 years of music.

Soprano Olwyn Barber, 82, has been singing at St Faith’s Church in Gaywood since she was just 12-years-old.

Olwyn, from Gaywood, said: “When I first joined St Faith’s Choir I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would still be singing in the choir 70 years later.

“Singing in the choir has been a joy of my life and I hope to carry on for as long as I am able.”

Having been a member of her school’s choirs as a youngster, Olwyn’s passion for singing has never waivered.

She said: “I have always loved singing – I was given the gift of a voice and what better place to use it than in the church choir?”

Olwyn has fond memories of the St Faith’s choir’s trips to Norwich Cathedral in the 1950s with the Royal School of Church Music, including one special occasion after the Queen’s coronation.

Her dedication to the church does not stop there, as she took on a new role at the weekend when she opened St Faith’s fundraising Spring Fair.

The church’s rector, Rev Julie Boyd, introduced the chorister to those at the fair and said that her long-service was a “remarkable achievement”.

Olwyn said she was used to singing in public, both in the choir stalls and on the stage with amateur theatrical groups, but it was the first time she had cut a ribbon to open a fair.

Rev Boyd thanked fair coordinators, Ann and Eric Ess and their team for organising the fair which raised £854 for the on-going running costs of the church on Gayton Road.

Her seven decades of service to St Faith’s is to be marked at a special songs of praise service at the church on Sunday, April 30.

Everyone is welcome to attend the service which starts at 9.45am.