Music in the main services at St. Helen's is led by the choir. The choir is a mixed choir of adults, children and young people. The age range is fully representative of the St. Helen's congregation, from (almost) the very youngest to the oldest. It is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music, and sings a wide range of anthems, psalms and service settings, as well as leading congregational hymn singing.

Choir members rehearse once a week on Friday evenings: juniors starting at 5.30, adults starting at 6.00, and ending together at 7.00 (although younger children often stop at 6.30). Rehearsals are fun and lively! We also generally get through quite a lot of music, and the Anglican choral tradition contains many pieces that are enormously enjoyable to sing. The choir meets for a further short rehearsal immediately before services.

Choral Evensong

The choir sings at the 10.30 Eucharist every Sunday, normally meeting at 10.00 am. At this service the choir sings an anthem, sometimes an introit, and a psalm, and leads the congregation in singing hymns and a musical setting of the liturgy. On the third Sunday of each month, the choir also normally sings Choral Evensong, following the traditional form from the Book of Common Prayer. This involves a musical setting of the responses and canticles, a psalm and an anthem. There are a number of extra services around Christmas and Easter, and the choir is occasionally also asked to sing at weddings in St. Helen's.

Younger members of the choir use the RSCM Voice for Life training scheme to help develop their knowledge and skills as choral singers. This involves working towards a series of different 'levels', each of which builds on the previous one. Members of the choir also regularly attend RSCM courses and events, including the annual RSCM Regional Festival, for which St. Helen's is one of the rotating host venues.

New Members

The choir is always very happy to welcome new members. If you are interested in joining, or if you are a parent and your child is interested in joining, in the first instance please contact the Director of Music, Peter Foster, to discuss this.

To help you decide whether it is the right thing for you, here is a link to a few common questions.