"The singing got increasingly enthusiastic as the evening progressed," admits Rector of Rural East York and Area Dean of Derwent the Revd Nick Bird, as he faces calls "to do it all again very soon".

A group of musicians, several kegs of beer, and plenty of Pimms were brought into play on a Friday evening as about 30 folk gathered at St Nicholas Church Dunnington to enjoy an evening mash-up of traditional hymn singing.

"We had printed song sheets containing what our teenagers refer to as 'the old bangers', but there were requests too from the people there so we had to dig out hymn books," adds Nick.

One punter comments, "Just singing hymns as an end in themselves rather than part of a service, brings them more into focus and was very moving."

"It was a wonderfully sociable time together," reflects Nick, "drawing in people from the fringes of the church and beyond."