Churchwarden and DJ

Joseph Bulmer

ANDREW Tregoning is, perhaps, an unusual combination – churchwarden and part-time DJ.

He became both, he said, by accident.

After attending St.Swithun’s Church in Littleham for the first time 25 years ago he was asked by the Vicar, the Rev Patrick Simpson, if he would mind taking on the role of churchwarden – just for one year!

That year has lengthened and so has Andrew’s role. For the past two-and-a-half years he has been running “Holy Karaoke” at the village pub, the Crealock Arms.

“It came about because a lot of people in the village had said that they really liked singing hymns, but that they didn’t want to come to church. So I thought OK, what if the church came to you?” he said.

“I found some software on the web that allows you to sequence words with music files that are often freely available to download and can also display images in the form of a slide-show. I hooked my laptop up to the four-parishes portable speaker system and plugged the picture output into the big screen TV in the Crealock Arms and away we went.

“What we have been doing each month is sing a selection of hymns and well-known songs and pop songs in the comfort of the local pub. It’s not really Holy or even karaoke, because we all sing together. What I try to do is find images that illustrate the songs and somehow make them more meaningful - for instance we sing the Beatles’ song In My Life, which is all about remembering people and places, while watching images of people who have lived in the village. but are now passed on.”

The karaoke sessions usually end with collections for good causes.

Last year the Bishop of Crediton – Bishop Bob – joined them for the 750th anniversary of the Diocese of Exeter and the locals sang Bob the Bishop to him to the tune of Bob the Builder!

The Littleham karaoke “season” has just ended, so Andrew is back to just being a churchwarden. But it is hoped to start up again sometime in the autumn.