THE heavenly voices of Blackbird Leys Choir filled a city centre church to the rafters to raise money for a Cowley children's charity.

At a lunchtime concert on Monday the 25-strong group performed a series of little-known hymns to a packed audience at St Michael at the North Gate.

It formed part of a regular series of lunchtime concerts at the Cornmarket Street church held on behalf of local charities.

A total of £270 was raised for the Cowley Child Contact Centre, which offers support to youngsters whose parents are separated and no longer live together.

Choir director Sarah Lister said: "It went really well. It was a nice atmosphere and a warm audience.

"We did a mixture of three Renaissance pieces, some Baroque solos, then the spirituals, then finished off with some unusual hymns that you don't normally sing in church."

Members of the choir are currently warming up their vocal chords for a free concert in Blackbird Leys next month to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

The event will run from 7.30pm at the Glow Hall in Blackbird Leys Community Centre on Saturday, July 9.