A TOP opera singer will be exchanging international opera houses for a village church next month, to help raise funds for essential repairs.

World-class soprano Nicki Kennedy will be appearing at All Saints Church, North Moreton, on Saturday, February 13, for a candle-lit recital to raise £6,000 for building work on the medieval church.

She last appeared at the church as a rising star in 1996, and organiser and personal friend Alison Esse has been inundated with requests ever since to persuade her to return.

Mrs Esse, who lives opposite the church said: “She loves doing this kind of thing. It’s a way of giving back a little bit.”

The church needs £150,000 of repair work on its tower.

Ms Kennedy will accompanied by tenor John Bowley and pianist Susan Allen, performing love songs from across the centuries for Valentine’s weekend.

Tickets for the event, which starts at 7pm, cost £20 and include wine and cannapés. Calling Alison Esse on 07768 890836 or email alison_esse@mac.com