A festival service to celebrate St Cecilia, the patroness of music, was held at he church of St Mary of the Annunciation, Beaminster.

The Reverend Canon David Baldwin welcomed a choir of 44 singers drawn from the churches and choirs in the Lyme Bay C of E Deanery, Dorchester and further afield from Wimborne to sing.

This Lyme Bay Choirs Festival under the inspired direction of Martin Schellenberg included music by Stanford, Smith of Durham, Charles Wood, and Vaughan Williams with the congregation joining in the singing of six hymns.

The lessons were read by Janet Allen, the Deanery Lay Chairman and Andrew Robson from the Royal School of Church Music Wessex Committee. The accompanist was organist Paul Cheater from Litton Cheney who stepped in at short notice. His voluntaries were a prelude by Ernest Walker that he had recently discovered among some old manuscripts and his rousing and appropriate conclusion was Festival Toccata by Percy Fletcher.

The festival was a joint event organised by the Lyme Bay Deanery and the RSCM Lyme Bay Support Network.