Music, and singing in particular, has always been an integral part of the liturgy. St Augustine said that singing is praying twice over.We are lucky to have two choirs on Sundays – one at the 9am mass at Our Lady’s and the other at the 10.30am mass at St Edmund’s. The choirs sing both traditional and new music and are continually expanding their repertoires so there are different mass settings and suitable hymns to reflect particular feast days and periods of the year. We are particularly pleased with the development of our expertise in the Latin plain chant and are one of the very few choirs in the diocese who are able to read and sing happily in plain chant thanks to the dedication and perseverance of Helen Murphy who is very active in the music life of the diocese and is a composer herself as well as a very gifted singer.

We have for a very long time now been dependent on the goodwill of a very small number of singers and would dearly love to have more – ideally about 15-20 for each church. St Edmund’s has seen an influx of men recently and can now boast the princely number of four males which means that they can sing in parts and produce a much richer repertoire.

We have two very dedicated organists and choir leaders in Penny Bailey and Helen Murphy who try to keep rehearsals to a minimum and make the music and singing easy to read. If you cannot read music or are not a Maria Callas or a Pavarotti in the making, this is no bar to joining the choirs and just contributing to the singing and the pleasure it gives.

The Second Vatican Council wrote of sacred music as being “Greater than any other art“. In our Parish we are continuing an ancient and wonderful tradition. Why not think about helping us in our task and making it even better?