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TV star attends Service of Light

PUBLISHED: 15:34 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:40 05 July 2010

TELEVISION presenter and author Pam Rhodes was the guest host of a Service of Light held at Wangford Church.

The special service on Sunday attracted a full congregation to hear one of the presenters of the BBC TV series Songs of Praise.

TELEVISION presenter and author Pam Rhodes was the guest host of a Service of Light held at Wangford Church.

The special service on Sunday attracted a full congregation to hear one of the presenters of the BBC TV series Songs of Praise.

For the past 21 years Ms Rhodes has worked on the BBC show and before that she worked for Anglia TV in Norwich.

The Service of Light has been held annually since 1990 to rededicate the floodlighting of the church and was also to remember the life of John, the 4th Earl of Stradbroke, and his wife Barbara.

During the service more than two and a half hundred-weight of coins that had been collected around the village were handed over, to pay for the church floodlighting for the coming year.

Pam Rhodes spoke to the full church and then, following the TV Songs of Praise format, she interviewed members of the congregation and some of the choir before asking them to choose their favourite hymn.

Her own choice of hymn was “How Great Thou Art,” which she said has regularly won the television poll for the nation's favourite church song.

Those interviewed by Pam were chorister Sidi Scott, 16 year old cross-bearer Jessica Smith, retired farm-worker Eric Stockdale and his wife June and youth group member Jens Stohr.

The hymn singing was interspersed with operatic anthems delightfully sung by Belinda Bradley, the great-granddaughter of Lord and Lady Stradbroke.

Pam said that she was delighted to share in fellowship with the congregation and particularly mentioned the magical moment when the lights were turned off and the church was just lit by candles held each of the church-goers - as they sung the final hymn.

She added that everyone had a story to tell and it was a privilege to meet those who she had spoken to and also to find out what the church meant to them.

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