A Latimer Hinks solicitor swapped books for Buxtehude when he was sponsored by the firm to give a fundraising organ recital for essential repairs at a local church.

Luke Busbridge, a private client and capital tax planning specialist at the firm, is a member of the parochial church council and serving team at St James the Great, Darlington, and is one of its deputy organists.

The recital included a varied programme of works by French and German composers from the 17th to 20th Century, including Couperin, J S Bach, Brahms, Tournemire, and Jehan Alain.

Latimer Hinks sponsored the event, which was free entry with a retiring collection, with £120 raised on the night. Luke intends to perform a series of further recitals to continue fundraising for the church.

St James’s needs to raise more than £25,000 in order to renew the floor of its church hall, which is frequently used by a large number of corporate and charitable organisation, institutions and individuals. Without the improvements, it will become more difficult for these groups to use the hall in the future and the church, which is located in an underprivileged part of Darlington, will suffer a loss of vital income.

St James the Great sits strongly within the Anglo-Catholic tradition within the Church of England and was built in the late 19th Century for the growing industrial suburb of Albert Hill. It is a handsome example of high Victorian gothic revival architecture and has many points of interest, not least its historic connection with the Havelock Allan family, who were some of its earliest benefactors.

The organ, on which Luke gave his recital, is a fine digital instrument, which has replaced the original pipe organ that was destroyed by a fire in the 1960s.

Luke said: “Music has always been a huge part of my life. I have been singing since I was five, playing the organ since I was nine, and I regularly sing with Durham Cathedral Choir as a Deputy Lay Clerk. I was delighted to be able to swap my computer keypad for the organ console in order to help raise money for my local church, which is such an important part of the community.

“I’d like to thank my friends and colleagues at Latimer Hinks for their support of the recital. Like St James’s, the firm has been part of Darlington since the 19th Century and is an important part of the town’s history. The contribution was very generous and has helped the church on its way to the target.”

Fr Kenneth Crawford, the Priest-in-Charge of St James’s, said:  “We are extremely grateful to the directors and staff at Latimer Hinks for their generosity.  We have an ambitious fundraising target to meet in order for the repair works to take place, and it is wonderful to be supported by professional firms in Darlington like Latimer Hinks as we work towards it.”

Luke’s next organ recital will take place at St James the Great on Saturday 8 June at 7pm. Admission will be free of charge, and there will be a retiring collection afterwards, in aid of the church hall fundraising project.