Choral music is a vital part of the liturgy at St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood. The St John’s Choir offers music grounded in the Anglican choral tradition. It is a friendly, committed and welcoming group of volunteer and professional singers who perform music to a high standard.
Leadership and History
Our current Organist and Master of Music is Lionel Bourne. The musical tradition and St John’s dates back to 1887 when the Revd Thomas Helmore, noted authority on Gregorian chant, and former Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal, came to serve at the iron church that existed before the current building. With the introduction of the Lewis Organ in 1882 and the appointment of Alfred Eyre as the first Organist and Master of Music in 1881, a strong musical tradition has flourished at St John’s ever since.
Special Services and Events
The Choir sings special services at Easter and Christmas, amongst other times. We have regular Come and Sing events, when non-choir members are invited to join for a rehearsal and then the service. On Sunday 3rd December 2023, we have Come and Sing Advent Carols, and then we have three Come and Sing Choral Evensongs for early 2024, as well as a Come and Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion for Palm Sunday. Find out more and register here:
If you would like to be added to the mailing list for future Come and Sing events, please sign up here:
Weekly Services and Rehearsals
The Choir meet to rehearse at 9am on Sunday mornings and sing the weekly 10:30am Mass. On the first and third Sundays of the month, they meet at 4.30pm to prepare for a 6pm Choral Evensong (& Benediction on the first Sunday).
There is no mid-week rehearsal.
Music varies from week to week but more substantial settings, anthems and choral works include:
Louis Vierne – Messe Solennelle
Ralph Vaughan Williams – Mass in g minor
Maurice Duruflé – Requiem
William Harris – Faire is the Heaven
Thomas Tallis – O sacrum convivium
John Stainer – I Saw the Lord