Pop megastar Ed Sheeran has become the patron of a CHOIR in his home county to encourage budding new talent.
The “Shape of You” singer has revealed he will take up the new role at the Choral Foundation for St Mary-le-Tower church in Ipswich, Suffolk.
The multi-platinum selling artist grew up in nearby Framlingham, where he was himself a choirboy before rising to global stardom.
Ed, 27, said: “I am thrilled to be asked to be Patron. As a former chorister myself, I appreciate the benefits which singing brings to young people both physical and emotional.
‘‘Singing teaches you lots of skills and provides many opportunities which will help, enrich and sustain you throughout life.
“There is nothing equal to the joy of performing wonderful music with other like-minded people.”
The celeb will help promote singing at the church and in the wider community.
Jonathan Hunt, chairman of the trustees of the foundation said: “I am very proud to be associated with Ipswich’s highly ambitious and successful church choir.
“The high standards are very much driven by the talented, local, young people, both boys and girls, whose achievements are equal to those of many cathedral choirs across the country.
“We are extremely grateful and honoured that Ed has agreed to be our patron.”
The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “We know that singing and music-making can bring a very great deal to individual and community development.
“Ed Sheeran’s patronage of the foundation will give a huge encouragement to singing projects right across the county, as well as at St Mary’s.
“Who knows what talents lie undiscovered in our neighbourhoods and villages!”
Each year, the foundation puts on a festive candle-lit performance of Handel’s Messiah, with highly professional orchestra and soloists, with the choirs of St Mary-le-Tower and friends from the wider community.
This year it will take place on December 16 in St Mary-le-Tower church.