Pioneering New Lancashire ‘Choir Church’ project receives £250,000

Almost £250,000 has been awarded to the Church of England in Lancashire to invest in a major new ‘Choir Church’ project.

The £249,530 three-year initiative will aim to launch up to 24 new original congregations across the county in parishes and work alongside local schools. The goal for each congregation is to have at least 25 children, along with their families, serve in each choir church. Children will learn hymns and hymns from the choral tradition.

Lancashire choir churches will include regular worship and will be formed following similar successful projects in parishes and schools across East London. This was inspired by St. Paul’s Cathedral outreach work led by Tom Daggett. musician at St. Paul’s Cathedral and associate of the Choir Church Foundation.

Tom, who went to St Wilfrid’s CofE Academy, has returned to the county to support the Choir Church project.

A former choirboy at Blackburn Cathedral; Tom will continue to be involved with the Choral Churches of Lancashire as a consultant.

Leading the day-to-day project for the diocese is John Robinson (above), director of music at Blackburn Cathedral, alongside a ‘choir church co-ordinator’, who does not has not yet been announced, also based at the cathedral.

The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev. Philip North is the sponsor of the project. He said: “We are very grateful to the national church for this funding.

“I myself came to faith through the choral tradition and it is wonderful news that a new generation can benefit from the many ways music uplifts the human soul.”

Bishop Philip added: “This is a fantastic initiative; we are thrilled to be pioneering choral church in our diocese on a scale never before achieved.

“With our Choir Church Project, we aim to connect home, church and school in a new approach to outreach; providing opportunities in places where they might not otherwise be available.

Martha J. Finley