Sing When You’re Winning – Big Music Sunday

26th May 2021

Calling all cathedral singers: Raise your voices together for the Big Music Sunday Service and urge the Government to lift restrictions on singing.

We, the Association of English Cathedrals are adding our voice to the campaign to bring back singing in places of worship.

“Music is a vital part of church worship … singing brings enormous pleasure and satisfaction to thousands of people and is a major contributor to personal well-being.  We urge the Government to have a re-think right now”.

Adrian Dorber, Chair, Association of English Cathedrals.

Singers from English Cathedrals are being urged to lift up their voices in solidarity for the Royal School of Church Music’s Big Music Sunday Service in June and join in the call for the safe return of public singing.

The Association of English Cathedrals is the latest group to join the growing lobby asking the Government to rethink its position on restrictions to singing.

It is urging all cathedral singers – choirs and individuals – to join the participative Big Music Sunday Service on Sunday 6 June as an opportunity to stand together – albeit from the comfort of their own homes – as a large collective voice.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber who chairs the AEC said:

“Music is a vital part of church worship, it brings a richness to the liturgy, our services can become flat and monotone without congregational singing. 

“We appreciate public health concerns but now that sport stadiums can have fans, pubs and bars are open again and more and more of us are vaccinated, it seems punitive of the authorities to stamp down on singing especially on amateur choirs and Church congregations. 

“There is very little definite, published and properly peer-reviewed evidence to support these draconian measures. 

“However where there is evidence, it is that singing brings enormous pleasure and satisfaction to thousands of people and is a major contributor to personal well-being.

“We urge the Government to have a re-think right now,” he added.

The Royal School of Church Music has been working to support church choirs through the challenges of the Government’s latest restrictions which currently states that only six people can sing together.

It wants to enable a safe return to choirs singing again and has teamed up with organisations including Making Music, The Association of British Choral Directors and The Incorporated Society of Musicians, to advocate a revision to the guidance.

Lichfield Cathedral

RSCM Director, Hugh Morris said:

“RSCM Music Sunday is a celebration of the special place of music in worship. With choirs so severely restricted again at present, the Big Music Sunday Service is a powerful way for singers to come together in solidarity in song, even if that has to be online.

“Last year, 2000 people joined us live; and we want more to do so this time in these trying circumstances. 

Hugh Morris will lead an online rehearsal for singers on 3 June so they can prepare to join in confidently on the day.

He said:

“The music is rich and varied, and comes from around the world – which seems especially appropriate at this time, as we all come together to support each other”.

The resources, including downloadable music packs for choir and for individual singers, are available through the RSCM web-shop here.

The service, from Lichfield Cathedral, will be streamed at 6pm on Sunday 6 June on the RSCM’s YouTube channel and Music Sunday will also feature in that day’s edition of BBC Songs of Praise which explores the power of music.

More information, including details on the rehearsal and the music can be found here including the RSCM’s YouTube channel here.

Below is the Big Music Sunday from last year, 14th June 2020