Walk-out choristers all set to sing again

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A choir that walked out following the sacking of its musical director will perform for the first time this weekend under a new name.

The choir of Lavenham Parish Church resigned in protest after its Easter Sunday performance following the removal of musical director Stephen Hogger by the church’s council.

The choir has reformed as the Choir Profugus, with its name reflecting that it is now without a home.

Mr Hogger, who had worked at the church since 1998, will lead the ‘wandering’ choir on Sunday for a choral communion service at St Mary’s Church, Chilton.

Members from the choir have previously sung at the venue, giving successful concerts as the Trinity Singers group.

The Rev Richard Titford will conduct the 3pm service at the church, which is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust but holds occasional services.

Mr Hogger expressed his delight at performing again.

“I’m very pleased – the choir always wanted to stay together,” he said.

“We have continued to have rehearsals and we will sing wherever.”

The choir will continue to focus mainly on church music, including this weekend’s service, but Mr Hogger said the group had started practicing some lighter styles, with a concert potentially lined up for later in the year.

The choirmaster admitted it had been “difficult” working at Lavenham while serving out his notice.

It was believed his removal had been over a clash of personalities, but Mr Hogger said his removal had simply been the “final straw” for the choir members.

“They left because I was no longer there to stop them from leaving,” he said. “They had not been happy for a while.

“Traditional church music doesn’t mix with what people necessarily want these days.”