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The value of a church choir

We asked Dr Stuart Pegler, our Director of Music, for his views on the value of a church choir
We are fortunate in England to have a wonderful tradition of Choral Singing. 

A Church Choir provides a breadth of music in a Church which would not be possible otherwise.  Its primary function, from a day-to-day point of view, is to give a good lead to the singing, and to make Worship an uplifting experience.

Whether leading traditional hymns, or newer ones, the support of a good choir can bring the singing together in a very exciting shared act of worship.

A choir can also introduce music writen especially for Choirs, which simply would not be heard otherwise, from 800-year old Plainsong right through to catchy numbers written very recently by John Rutter.  This rounds out and heightens the worship experience, so that we can all feel kinship with the writers and musicians who have sought to express their Christian feelings over the centuries.
There is also a community side, in that a group of people who enjoy singing can get together in a very English way, to develop their skills in a Christian environment, working as a team to bring to life beautiful music, week by week.  This is particularly important for children, who are given a good musical training, and can bring their developing musical knowledge to life by actually singing what is written down on the printed page.
Outreach is also an important part of a Choir's work, both month-by-month in visiting local residential homes, and particularly at Christmas time when many local organisations like to have a special visit from the Choir.