In Ecclesia

England is unique in its outstanding cathedral music tradition.  In times past, that tradition was replicated in parish churches up and down the country.  New styles of worship and a decline in the tradition for robed choirs in parish churches have made it harder and harder to hear fully choral services except in cathedrals. 

Thanks to In Ecclesia, you can now hear excellent cathedral-style services in a church near you. 

Founded in 1955 as the Rural Church Singers, In Ecclesia is a Somerset-based chamber choir of approximately 30 voices, dedicated to keeping alive the wonderful English cathedral musical tradition, singing fully-choral services in local country parishes.  In addition to visiting local parish churches, we ensure our standards remain high through the expertise of Laurence Blyth, our conductor,  who commits each year to direct us in weekend services at one or two cathedrals when the resident choir is on leave.  Recent visits have included Christ Church, Oxford; St Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals in Dublin; and nearer to home we have made return visits to Exeter Cathedral, and Bath and Tewkesbury Abbey.  The highlight of these visits remains our trip to Westminster Abbey in 2010. 

In our diamond jubilee year, we feel privileged to have been invited to bring to a close the wonderful programme of events provided by the Stogumber Festival, as we also plan to celebrate by singing services at York Minster in later in the year.

Our unique foundation means our income is reliant almost entirely on choir subscriptions and the generosity of a small group of Friends.  If you would like to join them and help us to keep alive our wonderful church music tradition, or simply want to keep in touch with us, please visit our website for further information

Our musical director, Laurence Blyth,  read music at the University of Exeter and holds a masters degree in choral conducting from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where his studies with Simon Halsey, Adrian Partington and Neil Ferris were supported by the Busenhart Morgan-Evans Foundation and the EMI Music Sound Foundation. He also conducted in masterclasses with Edward Caswell, Peter Broadbent, Sarah Tenant-Flowers, John Butt, Robert Dean and Eric Whitacre.

Recent highlights on the podium include performances of Bach Mass in B minor and St John Passion, Mozart 'Great' Mass in C minor, Bernstein Chichester Psalms and Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem 

Our organist, Simon Forrester, also read music at the University of Exeter and studied organ at The Royal School of Church Music with Michael Flemming. He has been musical director of a number of choirs in the South West of England and is currently director of music at St. Michael’s Church, Milverton

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