CHARITY MATTERS: Memorial concert to say thanks to Sobell

Oxford Mail: From left, Eloise Aston, Elizabeth Edmondson and Edmund Caird. OX55280 Buy this photo » From left, Eloise Aston, Elizabeth Edmondson and Edmund Caird. OX55280

A BESTSELLING author is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for an Oxford hospice, by holding a concert in memory of her late husband.

Elizabeth Edmondson, from Oxford, is inviting music lovers to join a performance at St Barnabas Church, Jericho, tomorrow to raise cash for Sobell House Hospice in Headington.

Ms Edmondson’s husband, Paul Aston, spent his last days at the Headington hospice before dying last year.

Ms Edmondson is a novelist known for her acclaimed historical mysteries and romantic comedies.

Her work includes the bestselling Darcy series – historical romantic comedies set in the world of Jane Austen, and the popular titles The Villa in Italy and Voyage of Innocence.

The latter was set in Oxford.

Mr Aston, an art historian and linguist, died at the age of 69 from a short illness after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The Lighten Our Darkness concert will feature Oxford musicians and singers and boys from the choir of St Giles, conducted by Nicholas Prozillo.

The soloists will be Jessie Holder (soprano) and Edmund Caird (bass), with the emphasis on sacred music with pieces by Bach, Bruckner, Handel, Monteverdi and Clérambault.

Ms Edmondson’s daughter Eloise Aston, 27, will play the cello and son Anselm Aston, 30, will sing at the concert.

Musicians and church staff have volunteered their time and facilities for free, to help boost proceeds for the hospice.

Ms Edmondson, who lives in Observatory Street, Jericho, said: “This concert is a way of saying thank you to everyone at the hospice.

“The care, expertise, good humour and simple loving kindness of the people who work there did indeed lighten the darkness for us, as it has done for so many patients and their families.

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“The medical and nursing attention for patients is remarkable, and this kindness extends to all those who are there.”

She added: “We will begin with a requiem, as a memorial for all those who have passed through the hospice, but this is not a gloomy occasion, so we also celebrate St Cecilia’s November feast day and the approach of Advent with all the hope of Christmas to come.”

  • Tickets are £12 (£10 cons) on the door or in advance by calling 01865 857007

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