Spotlight on... Music in St Laurence

Feb 03, 2023

St Laurence has a long-standing choral tradition, with a robed choir dating back to at least the mid-1800s.


Worship in St Laurence is based on the liturgical, sacramental and choral traditions of the Church of England, and we hold a wide range of services:
Sung Eucharist;
BCP;
Creative Communion;
Reflective Eucharist;
Online worship.

We have a flourishing choir, which plays a central role in the life of our church.


The choir is integral to the worship and mission of the church, as part of our liturgical, choral and sacramental tradition. Parish priests have traditionally been supportive and encouraging of the choral tradition regarding its centrality to mission and worship.


The choir:

  • Has a remunerated Director of Music (responsible for choosing music), and a regular organist, with others to call on as needed;
  • Averages 30 on a normal Sunday, increasing to 50 for special occasions, with an age range of 5–85, both male and female. Young mums are encouraged to bring their babies;
  • Remained active through the pandemic, with recorded hymns and the mass setting played at live and online services;
  • Has close links with the CE school, the source of most junior recruitment. The Director of Music runs a weekly assembly there and the school regularly visits the church;
  • Is fully choral (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass), and is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music. Choristers are encouraged to earn medals, and we have a high number of Bishop’s Choristers;
  • Has sung for ordinations, civic services, weddings, funerals and more, is responsible for the annual Nativity and leads festival services at Addington.


The hymnbooks used are "Hymns Ancient and Modern" and "Hymns and Songs for Refreshing Worship". The Mass Setting is the Mass of St Thomas by David Thorne, which is enjoyed by choir and congregation.


A very fine Bevington, dated 1911, has recently been restored to its original glory. The recording function enables music to be played as live without an organist.


A monthly service is held at Swan House, the local care home, run by a lay member of our choir. For the last two years, members of the choir and congregation have also sung Christmas carols from the House garden.

St Laurence church choir currently has vacancies for junior choristers. Choir practice is at 6.30pm on Fridays, with most services at 9.30am on Sundays. No singing experience necessary, just a willingness to learn. This is a great opportunity for children to be part of traditional choral music free of charge, as well as developing valuable transferable skills such as teamwork and responsibility.

 

Children age 5+ of any faith or none are very welcome to join as long as they are happy to sing during church services. For more information or if you are interested please contact Derry French on [email protected] or 07808 063 402.