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Vicar in tune with karaoke hymn-singing 
Maurice Weaver 


A VICAR has improved the singing of hymns in his church by installing a karaoke machine.

The Rev Brian Duckworth's congregation failed to make the heavens ring after their organist moved away. But the karaoke machine has made all the difference to services at St John the Evangelist's Church in Hucknall, Notts.

Mr Duckworth, 54, said: "After the organist departed, one of our worshippers stepped in with a guitar but then she left, too. Our services were getting very dull. We have a strong musical tradition here at St John's and hymns are a vital part of our worship. But I'm afraid singing unaccompanied just wasn't the same." He can control the karaoke machine from his pulpit and even take it with him for outside services.

Stephen Langford, assistant secretary of the Southwell Diocese, which approved the vicar's music-making idea, said yesterday: "This machine is making its mark on St John's in a way the original organ probably did 100 years ago."

Worshippers have been similarly enthusiastic. Helen Overton, 41, said: "The services just didn't flow without music." The congregation raised £2,850 to pay for the Digital Hymnal, an American-made ecclesiastical version of the Japanese singalong device. It plays 2,400 hymns.





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