Village church rocked to raise refugee funds

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Inglewhite Rocks raised around £2,000 in aid of Syrian refugees in an event reminiscent of Live Aid 30 years ago.

Held at Inglewhite Church on Silk Mill Lane, the pop concert with music from the decades, was also raising awareness of the plight of refugee children and included a talk by 15-year-old Syrian, Aladdin Aljian and a video including clips of the Syrian crisis.

Organiser John Gargrave came up with the idea after watching the report of the Syrian toddler whose body was washed up on a Turkish beach.

He said the concert went “very well” and described the amount raised as “fantastic”.

“I was hoping to raise about £1,000 and so it has more than doubled my expectations, so we are very pleased,” said John, adding that it will all go to the charity, International Aid Trust, who are working to support Syrian refugees in Albania.

Singer and guitarist John, who is a member of a London based Blues band called Highway 49, gathered together a group of musical church members to form the Inglewhite Rocks group.

It included six backing singers, one turned flautist; two more guitarists, one aged 16 and the other 21; two pianists and a drummer and despite only very few rehearsals, everything came right on the night.

He said: “It came across really well and we had some great songs and a lot of requests which people paid for.”

Funds were also raised by donations on the night; a donation webpage and an auction of promises. People also donated clothing, footwear and rucksacks.