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The rocking vicar
14/08/17

The diocese encourages all clergy to pursue a hobby outside of ministry. For some it will be playing squash, for others it will be cooking or baking. But the Reverend Pam Howell’s hobby is a bit different – she is the lead singer of Coventry based rock band, The Koalas.

Pam, the Vicar of St John the Divine, Willenhall, has been singing with the band for almost twenty years. The band was formed from the music group at St Mark’s, Leamington Spa, where Pam was a member of the congregation before ordination. Pam’s husband, Mark, and their friend, Peter Hill, had a passion for rock music and were keen to play outside of church too. They invited Pam to join in 1997 when the band’s name was “Look Both Ways” but Pam chose the name ‘The Koalas’ after picking a random word in a newspaper she was reading. The name stuck.

Over the last twenty years The Koalas have evolved. The band is now based in Coventry and is comprised of Pam as lead vocalist; Pam’s husband Mark as lead guitarist; Patrick Gordon on the keyboard, Steve Bastock on drums and Dan Wood as the bass player.

Even though all members of the band have to be up early on Sunday morning, they still play the occasional Saturday night gig for weddings and parties. Recently, they played to raise funds for St John the Divine. Also on Saturday 26th August, some band-members will be playing at “Willen-all Together,” a multi-cultural celebration in Willenhall that will bring the whole community together and showcase music from different cultures.

To see a video of The Koalas performing live click here.