INTERNATIONAL music stars have wrapped up their final performance in a tiny Somerset village while raising more than £14,000 for the local church.

An orchestra assembled from graduates of London’s Royal Academy of Music, who normally play in some of the world’s biggest arenas, held their last Carols and Classics Concert.

The event was the 17th concert in a series held at All Saints Church in Merriott, and organised by father and son Paul and Joseph Fisher.

Dad Paul said: “What happened 10 years ago was my son – who was at the Royal Academy of Music – bought himself a piano at an auction, a baby grand for £50.

“He couldn’t keep it at home so he spoke to the rector of the church and said if we can put this in the church then I will get my friends down to do concerts, and she said that was brilliant.

“Nearly 20 concerts later and we have raised £14,000.”

Joseph’s friends were all students at the royal academy as well, and now make up the numbers in globally renowned orchestras such as the London Philharmonic.

Paul added: “The first concert was £5, and was well attended so we put on another and more of his friends wanted to come and perform.

“They started to come every Christmas, and had the Carols and Classics event going.

“We had one man come from Kent for three years, and another lady from London.”

The Fishers said this was the last in the series as the musicians are now off performing around the world.

“We had one guy who arrived from a performance in Athens, and my son has gone straight off to Belfast to play,” Paul said.

Because of the money raised, a number of restorations have been completed on the church.

These include repairing the old Lych-Gate, door stone carvings, and renovating to the flagpole specially for the remembrance year.