December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Ross Bentley
Saturday, December 29, 2012
GUITARIST Liz Jump often belts out songs while folk enjoy a pint down the local pub.
But it is vital the 49-year-old steers clear of the excesses of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle because after a night on stage she is often delivering a sermon.
The strumming vicar from Bardwell has been wooing parishioners with her songs and using her musical talents as an unconventional way of getting people involved in worship – even if they are propping up the bar of the Dun Cow at the time.
“The days of expecting lots of people to turn up in a cold church on a Sunday morning have long gone,” said the Rev Jump, who carries out her duties across eight parishes including Ixworth, Ingham and Euston.
“So I have to go where people are – the pub included.”
Last Sunday the musical vicar led a carol service at the pub attended by more than 30 people while at Easter she strummed her semi-acoustic guitar and played songs of praise down the local.
“Around 30 or 40 people turned up for the carols and it was a great atmosphere,” she added.
“Christmas and Easter are times of the year when more people attend services and it clear they enjoy them in a more informal setting.
“The pub, like the church, is at the centre of the community.”
And the landlord at the Dun Cow, Andy Nurse, is keen to expand the Rev Jump’s performances.
He said: “We had people of all ages in here for the carols from seven-year-olds right up to 70-year-olds. I’m more than happy to hold these events here.
“Liz is very popular in the village and is great at getting people involved in things.”
The Rev Jump, who came to area from Manchester in 2007, says she learnt to play the guitar during the folk revival in the 1980s.
She added: “Some people might think my approach is unconventional but when I got the calling to be a vicar I was determined to be myself and hopefully people like what I do.”