One of the success stories of Church growth in recent years has been the popularity of Choral Evensong.
Cathedrals, college chapels and parish churches with a strong choral tradition, have seen steady increases in these congregations.
The choristers, young and old, who give their worship at choral services, are often overlooked in churches counting congregations. The music they offer is key to the wonder of Choral Evensong and it is the Book of Common Prayer that provides the framework of worship within which that praise is offered.
The PBS is now actively working to reach out to choristers through the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).
The RSCM, supports choirs and choristers across the UK and internationally. Its work includes training choristers and encouraging churches to recognise the mission opportunity that choral worship offers.
The PBS is promoting the potential for the BCP as a tool for mission and discipleship.
Our goals align closely with those of the RSCM. It became clear that there were mutual benefits in working together more.
These include our helping them to offer stronger BCP-related discipleship training in educating young choristers, and their willingness to promote our work to their membership.
As an outcome of this, we are delighted that the Cranmer Awards will be closely linked to the RSCM young chorister training scheme, Voice for Life.
To celebrate the start of our partnership, we are jointly sponsoring the composition of a new anthem, which will be written by Jack Oades. The anthem will set the words of the Collect for the sixteenth Sunday after Trinity:
O Lord, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It will be sung at our 50th Anniversary Celebration Service in St Margaret’s Westminster on 7th October.