Choir’s collection for church after 50 years

All Souls' Amateur Operatic Society at All Souls' Church, Boothtown, where its first show was staged in 1961

All Souls' Amateur Operatic Society at All Souls' Church, Boothtown, where its first show was staged in 1961

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Vocalists donated cash to a charity protecting the birthplace of their choir as they returned there for their 50th anniversary concert.

All Souls’ Amateur Operatic Society held a post-performance collection that raised £240 for the Churches Conservation Trust, which is helping to preserve All Souls’ Church on Haley Hill, Boothtown, Halifax.

The group was founded there in 1960 and presented its first production – a concert version of The Mikado – there in 1961.

The Grade I-listed church closed in 1979 but the trust is working to bring it back into use for the community.

Jean Murphy, information officer for the society, said: “Because we were born in that church and emerged from there we just thought rather than taking the money for ourselves, it would be nice to donate to that.

“It was so nice to sing in there, the acoustics and everything were superb, and it would be nice if we could continue on a regular basis.”

The Halifax landmark is regarded as a masterpiece of its architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, who thought it his best church.

It was paid for by Halifax manufacturer Edward Akroyd and completed in 1859, and features a 72-metre high spire and dazzling stained glass windows created by Victorian master craftsmen.

The society’s concert programme included Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth, Mozart’s Ave Verum and Mascagni’s Easter Hymn, together with The Mikado Finale Act I in homage to the first production.

Audience members were also treated to a sneak preview of the group’s next show, My Fair Lady, which will be performed at Halifax Playhouse, King Cross Street, in Spring.