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Classical music concert to restore historic St James’s Church roofs

Concert pianist Sunny Li and violinist Laure Chan to perform at event

01 June, 2018 — By Tom Foot

The roof at St James’s 

A HISTORIC church is holding a gala concert featuring internationally acclaimed classic musical performance.

Concert pianist Sunny Li and violinist Laure Chan are among those supporting St James’s in Sussex Gardens, Paddington, which is aiming to raise enough money to restore its aisle roofing.

The roofing, which was originally damaged during the Blitz, needs to be replaced and the church is looking to raise £300,000.

Father Paul Thomas, the vicar, said: “The stone, lead, wood and slate, which has for 130 years kept the faithful people of Paddington dry, is about to give up the ghost. This wonderful gala concert – which is as shamelessly populist in content as it is polished in performance – will raise much-needed funds for us to secure the roof of this fine church for a further century and more. A new roof will allow a new generation of people to encounter the beauty, peace and abiding presence of God in W2.”

Pianist Sunny Li caused a sensation last year when she played Flight of the Bumblebee on two pianos at the same time. She faced a sexist tirade due to  the way she sat while playing the two pianos.

St James’s Church, Sussex Gardens is a Grade II* listed church, and was built in 1882 by leading Victorian architect George Edmund Street, who also designed the Royal Courts of Justice.

Its parishioners have included penicillin ace Sir Alexander Fleming, Peter Pan author JM Barrie, Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell and playwright Oscar Wilde. Wilde married Constance Lloyd at the church in 1884.

The Raise the Roof concert is on June 7 from 7.30pm. To book visit: www.stjamespaddington.org.uk/event/raise-the-roof- gala-concert/

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