Today the Diocese of London issued the following announcement on the launch of a new initiative for musicians in London churches.
The Musicians’ Church: a new front door to London’s churches for musicians
A new initiative launching today asserts the central role of music in the life of London’s churches and provides an online home for musicians to book concerts and rehearsals.
www.musicianschurch.org launches with details of seven churches in the City of London that have facilities available for hire. Churches will be added rapidly as the initiative develops and spreads across the capital and beyond. In tandem, the Patrons and steering group will develop a series of concerts, events and spiritual support programmes, to celebrate and develop the Partnership in the Gospel between churches and musicians.
The Rt Revd. Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden and Acting Bishop of London, said:
“Churches in London, and especially in the City, extend their welcome to a wide range of communities, but our partnership with musicians is one of our most treasured relationships. This Musicians Church Website will celebrate this partnership, through our service to musicians, through our church buildings resounding with the glory and mystery of music, and through our service to all as we live out our love of God and neighbour.”
Dr Andrew Earis, Director of Music, St Martin-in-the-Fields, said:
“Musicians have always found a home in London’s churches, and the Musicians’ Church initiative will serve as a home for all of us who love and care for the musical life of our churches. I am excited to be a part of this innovative development in the partnership between music and worship in London. ”
Bishop Pete will act as Patron, alongside John Rutter CBE and Julian Lloyd Webber, Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music and other patrons, who will be announced shortly. A steering group is being assembled, including many of the leading figures in London’s varied music activity. In February a launch concert will take place, conducted by John Rutter. Full details will be available on 1st December.
The website includes details of church spaces available to hire, with details of their capacity, facilities, and practical specifications for concerts. Musicians will be able to contact churches through the website to book space for rehearsals and concerts.
The website was launched at a gathering at Saint Michael Paternoster Royal Church on 1st November, led by Bishop Pete and attended by many involved in setting up this initiative.
Readers will recall the recent decision of St Sepulchre, sometimes referred to as “the Musicians’ Church”, to suspend its external hire programme; in September we posted on the statement issued by Bishop Pete Broadbent, Acting Bishop of London. At the time, the rector of St Sepulchre’s issued a statement about music on behalf of the PCC, in which he said inter alia:
“I am grateful to Bishop Pete and his colleagues for the positive engagement with myself and the PCC of St Sepulchre’s in recent weeks. We totally endorse all Bishop Pete has said, and St Sepulchre’s will always strive to be welcoming, inclusive and engaging”.
However, St Sepulchre’s is not included in the seven churches in the City of London that have facilities available for hire under this new initiative