News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

lord cormack official portrait.jpg header4.jpg
lord cormack official portrait.jpg thumb.jpg
Church News

Conservative peer asks if choirs can return in church services for Easter

by Cara Bentley

A member of the House of Lords has asked why choirs and church services can both operate in England, but not at the same time, especially with Easter approaching. 

Currently, churches can have in-person services England, Wales and Northern Ireland but the congregation cannot sing. The guidance says: "Where singing or chanting is essential to an act of worship, this should be limited to one person wherever possible. Exceptionally, where it is essential to the service, up to three individuals should be permitted to do so."

Separate guidance says professional choirs can currently perform for broadcast or recordings but not with a physical audience in the same room. Amateur choirs cannot rehearse nor perform. 

Lord Cormack, a Conservative peer (pictured) who attended and then worked at St James' Choir School, said on Tuesday: "My Lords, during the lockdown last autumn, large churches and cathedrals were able to have services with a choir, suitably distanced of course. Spiritual health is very important. We are approaching the most significant week in the Christian year, Holy Week. 

"In Lincoln, where I live, we have a great and glorious cathedral, we can have services and we can have a choir, but we cannot have them together. It is ludicrous. Can the Minister have this one looked into? It would be very sad indeed if during Holy Week we could have either a congregation or a choir, but not both together."

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal, replied: "I can certainly say to my noble friend that we will continue to work with the Places of Worship Taskforce to ensure that advice is available for religious communities and faith leaders so we can enable the safe opening of places of worship as we move forward through the steps in the road map."

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email