Not only do visitors to this ‘open every day’ church have the pleasure of hearing him play, but Simon Vincent is also performing there on Friday February 22 at 7pm with an evening of compositions and improvisations including Lord, Hear My Prayer, Be My Guide and La Mia Coppa Trabocca (my cup runneth over).

“It’s lovely to walk into church and find him practising on the piano,” says Shirley Keyes, Parish Administrator of Nettleham All Saints Church. “Everyone who works around the church during the day loves to hear his music and we are lucky to have him perform concerts here too.”

Simon is a man who feels an energy from some buildings, particularly churches, and attributes this to their being ‘steeped in prayer’ over the centuries. He definitely feels that positive air in Nettleham: “The church is a wonderful space to be in and I feel a real affinity with it” says Simon, “and the piano has a wonderful sound and between the mixture of wood, stone and carpet the church has very warm acoustics which makes playing there so enjoyable.”

Simon lives quite near Nettleham, and has recently started worshipping at All Saints, as well as using the piano for practice.

Simon described how he came to develop the relationship with All Saints: “As I came into the church, Father Richard was sitting at the piano. We chatted and he asked me if I could play the organ, which I can’t, but I played their piano and it all stemmed from there. Churches have a special atmosphere and I have composed a couple of pieces in the church in Nettleham ('Lord, Hear My Prayer, Be My Guide', 'Blessed Angel', 'Dear Richard... An Initial Encounter Between Morton Feldman and Richard Wagner') as I always feel inspired being there.”

Father Richard Crossland, Rector of Nettleham All Saints said: “We are so lucky that Simon not only comes to see us to practise on our piano and to join regularly in our Sunday and weekday Eucharists, but also delights us with his concerts. Simon is a very spiritual person as well as a composer, improviser and performer of international standing. We are very blessed to have him and his musical ministry in our church. Music is incredibly important in a growing and deepening church in our tradition, and Simon’s gifts are exciting and take us to a new level.”

“Music is such an important part of life and I feel I can ‘talk’ through my playing”, said Simon. “I am looking forward to the concert although I feel a little nervous as I will know so many people there but want to contribute to this lovely community and for it to be a success for them.”

Despite a wealth of plaudits and acclaim Simon’s musical career nearly didn’t happen. His original plan was to study languages at the University of East Anglia but having found its music department he quickly changed courses and never looked back. He plays a mixture of classical, religious music which he has composed himself, and also enjoys jazz improvisation. He has recently been giving concerts at festivals in northern Europe, and performing on an Arts Council tour.

Tickets for the evening cost £8 including a glass of wine and nibbles. In advance from Parish Office – 01522 931076  and [email protected] or at the door.

See www.simon-vincent.com for more details.