A SPECIAL concert is being held to mark the life of the 6th Baronet of Bedale and raise money towards the £300,000 refurbishment of his beloved local church.

Opera North star Rachel Mosley is to sing at the concert in Bedale's St Gregory’s Church. The event has been arranged by family and friends of Sir Henry Beresford-Peirse, who died suddenly last year at the age of 79.

His wife Jadranka has appealed to the community to support the event and help raise much needed funds for the church.

Sir Henry was well known in the town, where he spent a lot of his time after retiring from the City in 1991.

The family has been joint Lords of the Manor of Bedale since the sixteenth century and formerly owned the Grade I listed Bedale Hall, which is now run as a charitable trust.

The surrounding parkland and woodland was donated by the Beresford Peirse’s to the community after the war.

Lady Jadranka said: "We thought it was important to remember Henry in this his hometown. He did a lot for the community and I know many people remember him with great affection and of course we miss him all the time.

“For 140 years members of the family were Rectors of the Parish and Henry was patron of the church, a duty he took seriously. So we felt raising money for St Gregory’s would be an excellent way of remembering him and one Henry would very much approve of.

“We have been so lucky to get Rachel Mosley as the soloist, she is from this area and extremely well known. Rev Ian Robinson and the church’s musical director Richard Boynton have been working hard to help.

“We would ask as many people as possible to come along, people who have known Henry, we want to get together for a while and remember him. And of course people who want to support the church. ”

St Gregory’s needs to raise £300,000 for major work on the building including the chancel and Lady Chapel Roofs, along with stone work on the tower and repair work on the bells.

The concert is being held on Friday, February 21 at 7.30pm, tickets cost £10, which is payable at the door.