Support for CofE Christmas Single

Cantignorus Chorus aims for the Christmas Charts

~Pop-up community choir from St Paul’s West Hackney records a single to raise money for local charities~


A pop-up community choir of over 120 children and adults from the congregation of St Paul’s West Hackney and the organisations that use the St Paul’s church hall has teamed up with the choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral and poet and comedian John Hegley to record a Christmas single.


The newly formed choir, which has named itself ‘Cantignorus Chorus’, recorded ‘Holding out a Helping Hand’ at a session at the Angel Recording Studios in Islington attended by the Bishop of Stepney, Adrian Newman. The single is due to be released on ITunes on 11 December. The initiative’s main focus is raising people’s spirits and confidence in themselves, as well as heightening awareness of the rich and diverse community in West Hackney. However, any money raised from the song, which was written by The Revd Niall Weir, Rector of St Paul’s West Hackney, will go directly to the charities and organisations represented in the chorus.


The community choir of St Paul’s West Hackney was originally formed to bring the local people of West Hackney together through music. As well as parishioners from St Paul’s, it includes representation from clients and staff from charities and organisations based at St Paul’s Hall, such as North London Action for the Homeless, Narcotics Anonymous, the Open Doors charity for vulnerable women, the 4Sight lunch club for local African Caribbean men and women with mental health issues, an over-50s dance group, Family Mosaic Housing Association and the Growing Communities grassroots gardening project.


The innovative project is a living example of the ethos of Capital Vision 2020- the Diocese of London's vision for the next seven years-  which commits the Diocese to serve the capital ways that are confident, compassionate and creative.


Many members of the choir have spoken about how they benefit from being part of the Cantignorus Chorus:


Carole Robinson said:

“I love being a member of the Cantignorus Chorus because I get such a feeling of connection and joy when I sing. When everyone is working together, singing the harmonies and the tune, it’s a magical experience. Thank you, Cantignorus Chorus!”


Cyril Abel said:

“For me, Cantignorus is the most harmonious and inclusive gathering of all members of the community; singing and praising solidarity.”


The Cantignorus Chorus is the flagship project of SingSpire, an innovative music programme run by the Centre for Contextual Theology, which aims to help churches to bring people together through song. The Cantignorus Chorus received financial support from the Bishop of London’s Mission Fund, Near Neighbours – the three year project promoting interfaith social initiatives-, and countless generous local benefactors who sponsored a singer.


Speaking about the project, The Revd Niall Weir, Rector of St. Paul’s West Hackney, said:

“I’m so pleased with this project. Working on it with Tom Daggett of the Contextual Theology Centre has been a wonderful experience and I’ve been delighted to see so many smiles on so many faces as a result of it all. People have made new friends. They’ve discovered new things about themselves and about each other. Music clearly is the food of love – so play on, I say!”


The Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney, who attended the recording session, commented:

“The Cantignorus Chorus is a joyful expression of something the church does well – drawing together diverse groups of people to celebrate human dignity and creativity.  This is a project that gives voice to the voiceless and demonstrates the harmony that is possible between people of difference, but it resists the temptation to be too ‘worthy’ by serving itself up with lashings of fun.  The name says it all!”


The Ven Rachel Treweek, The Archdeacon of Hackney, who also attended the recording, said:

“Seeing and hearing the Cantignorus Chorus for the first time was an inspiring encounter with harmony in diversity. Watching the choir I was aware of many poignant stories, struggles and celebrations in the lives behind each voice. I was moved by hearing people who may often feel powerless singing with power, and those who may sometimes feel on the edge standing in the centre; this is ‘Gospel’ music in the truest sense.”

News in Brief
Webpage icon Chaplaincy - Air Training Corps
Webpage icon Chaplaincy - Prison
Webpage icon Chaplaincy - Dementia
Webpage icon Chaplaincy - Mental Healthcare
Webpage icon Chaplaincy - Police
Webpage icon Chaplaincy - Retail
Webpage icon English Clergy Association
Webpage icon Diocesan Synod Presentation on Renewal and Reform
Webpage icon Dementia awareness
Webpage icon Marriage in Church and Changes to Marriage law
Webpage icon Conference for County Churches Trusts
Webpage icon Understanding and Using Ubuntu to transform the world we co-create.
Webpage icon Listed Places of Worship Grant scheme
Webpage icon 100 years of the Mothers' Union
Webpage icon Friends hold coffee, cake and book morning
Webpage icon Top 10 facts about Christenings
Webpage icon St Margaret's Patronal Festival
Webpage icon Join us for supper and help harvests to flourish
Webpage icon Counselling skills for pastoral care
Webpage icon Prayer for the Royal baby
Webpage icon The sun shone down on readers and pastoral assistants
Webpage icon Diocesan consultation - Women bishops
Webpage icon Flowers and cakes help to maintain Capel Church
Webpage icon CSV Heritage Camps - sign up today
Webpage icon Free church listings on new website

Copyright 2015 © The Diocese of Rochester. Registered Office: St Nicholas’ Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SL. Registered Charity No. 249339 The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 140656