St Mary's Church Choir

The choir in St Mary’s Church is a robed mixed adult and children’s choir. The choir leads Sunday worship every Sunday morning in the 9.30 Family Eucharist and then usually twice a month at Evensong which starts at 6.30. We also lead the worship at special midweek services such as Epiphany, Candlemas, Ascensiontide, and major Saint’s Days.

The church has a link with the cathedral parish of Helsinki in Finland and the choir has visited there and led the Sunday worship in the cathedral singing both in English and Finnish. We have also been privileged to sing choral evensong at the following cathedrals: Ely, Coventry, Lichfield, St. Edmundsbury, Southwark, Birmingham, Southwell Minster, Norwich and Chelmsford.

Christmas also features highly in the choir’s work as does Easter. We are also planning to do a choir concert which I hope will become a fixture. It will contain a mixture of serious and light-hearted music as well as including instrumental music.

Children are invited to join the choir on their seventh birthday. Entry requirements are that they can read fairly well and sing in tune. Adults may join the choir at any time but also must be able to sing. We run the Royal School of Church Music training scheme and choristers work their way though the light blue, dark blue and red ribbons. They may also take the Dean’s chorister award, green ribbon and Bishops’ chorister award, purple ribbon.

A major choir activity is at Ascensiontide when we sing a full choral mass setting. So far we have sung two by Palestrina, one by Batten, one by Victoria and in 2009 we sang a specially composed mass setting. This was writtten for us by Dr. David Gorton, Professor of compositon and research at The Royal Academy of Music in London and a member of our congregation. We were also privileged to have one of the choirs from Helsinki cathedral, Viva Vox, with us at our Ascension Day service and they sang a beautiful motet for us in Finnish.

We are always looking for new members so if you are interested in finding out more about the choir please contact the organist and choirmaster Lloyd Barnett.


Lloyd Barnett: