Diocesan press releases

One Show goes live to Katherine Jenkins’ hometown church

When singing star Katherine Jenkins went on the BBC’s One Show to promote her latest CD – little did she expect to end up being treated to a live choir performance screened from her old church.BBC Kath Jenkins with mum Susan

Nor did she expect to see her see her own mum Susan, who was lining up for choir practice with the Neath Polyphonic Choir at St David’s Church in Neath – under the direction of another familiar face, her old choir master Mark Ritzmann.

Greeting the cameras live last night outside St David’s Church, Neath, was the rector, Canon Stephen Ryan – who had been in on the surprise televised live link.

“I know Katherine very well indeed, this is where she goes to church and this is where she sang in the choir for many years. Katherine loves coming home to Neath and we love seeing her,” said Canon Stephen Ryan.

“Katherine always mentions her background and the fact that she started her singing career in the choir at St David’s Church, Neath. Whenever she is in Neath she always attends service here in this church where her family have been faithful members for many years. We were delighted to be involved with this surprise for Katherine to send our best wishes from Neath to her,” added Canon Ryan.

With Katherine fighting back the tears of delight in the studio, both Katherine’s mum Susan and Mark Ritzmann spoke of their memories of her as a young singer.

“I’ve known Katherine since she was nine years old and even back then there was a purity to her voice,” said Mark.

While Katherine’s mum Susan told how the singing star used to love to get up and perform “I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout” as a child.

As her mum joined the choir for a special rendition of one of Katherine’s favourites, “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” Katherine said, “That is where it all started for me – all those people are so dear to me.”

Indeed last May Katherine held an intimate concert at St David’s Church to launch the St David’s Church Tower Restoration Appeal which aims to raise the £500,000 to secure the future of the iconic Neath landmark.BBC Kath Jenkins choir master, Mark Ritzmann

BBC - Kath Jenkins insideBBC Kath Jenkins interview  - Stephen Ryan (2)
Katherine Jenkins with Canon Stephen Ryan web

Pictures show
  1. Katherine Jenkins on the One Show (please credit The One Show- BBC one)
  2. Katherine Jenkins with her mum Susan (please credit The One Show- BBC one)
  3. Choir master Mark Ritzmann (please credit The One Show- BBC one)
  4. Choir practice (please credit The One Show- BBC one)
  5. Canon Stephen Ryan (please credit The One Show- BBC one)
  6. Katherine Jenkins with Canon Stephen Ryan (please credit James Davies)


For more details, please contact



Alison Young

Diocesan Communications Officer

Tel: 01656 868865; mobile: 07825 337437

Email: alisonyoung@churchinwales.org.uk

Twitter: @LlandaffDio