Tony’s big surprise at church concert

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Pinchbeck Baptist Church minister Tony Kinnersley sprang a surprise as his congregation and visitors were all set to enjoy a concert by the Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding.

After introducing the musicians on Saturday night, Tony unzipped his fleece to reveal the orchestra’s trademark red top – and took to the stage with the rest of the gang.

Baptist minister Tony Kinnersley (front, second right) with fellow members of the Ukulele Orchestra ' he was pictured moments before he unzipped his fleece to reveal his bright red top. SG310115-150TW

Baptist minister Tony Kinnersley (front, second right) with fellow members of the Ukulele Orchestra ' he was pictured moments before he unzipped his fleece to reveal his bright red top. SG310115-150TW

Tony joined the orchestra five months ago and says: “It was never a secret but most people didn’t know.

“Everyone was most surprised.”

The concert raised £500 towards a £10,000 project to renew the foyer at the Knight Street Baptist Church.

The old foyer was a “temporary structure” when it was put up about 30 years ago, but building work starting in April means it can include a loo and a small kitchen – making the building more widely usable during the week by a variety of community groups.

The church has its own hall, with loos and a kitchen, but that’s used on weekdays by a busy playgroup.

So far the church has raised more than £7,000, including a donation from the Baptist Union, and is continuing to fundraise for the building work.

The church is also talking to local businesses to see if tradesmen are willing to lend a helping hand.

Tony said: “A lot of the cost can go on things like labour and sometimes people are quite willing to offer their time.”

The church was packed on Saturday for its Ukuleles and Puds night – so called because lots of puddings are eaten during the interval.

There was a 60-strong, sell-out audience and the orchestra has 26 members.

Tony said the orchestra has 58 concerts planned this year – the Pinchbeck one was the fourth – and he joined up because it raises money for good causes.

He said: “I have learned from scratch as a beginner and that’s part of the ethos of the orchestra.

“By anyone’s standards I am still a beginner but good enough to be able to play in the concerts.

“All of the concerts we play are for charity – apart from the personal enjoyment I get out of it, it’s good that all of the money goes to good causes.”