By Betsy Everett
A choir formed in the living-room of a North Yorkshire rectory nine years ago, specifically to sing choral evensong in the Anglican tradition, is visiting Hawes parish church on Sunday.
Evensong has become increasingly popular with congregations throughout the country in recent years, and will be sung by Rectory Chorale in St Margaret’s Church, Hawes, under musical director Andrew Robinson with organist Andrew Christer.
There will be music by Ireland and Oxley, and the service, at 6pm, will also include the anthem Blessed be the God and Father by Wesley.
Rectory Chorale was begun in 2010 by Kathryn Haworth, wife of the Revd Stanley Haworth, then rector of Aldbrough St John in the Stanwick Group of Churches.
Originally formed to sing in the local benefice, and once a year in Ripon Cathedral, the choir expanded its remit under Mr Robinson in 2013 taking their music across County Durham and North Yorkshire.
The choir sings with a core group of 20-25, and sometimes as many as 40, drawn from all over the north of England.
When not directing Rectory Chorale, Mr Robinson is full-time head of music at a Roman Catholic School in County Durham and organist of St Giles Church, Durham.
- A survey looking at why people are attracted to choral evensong, by University of Oxford musicologist Kathryn King, cites an increase of 35 per cent in evensong attendance since 2007 and BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong showing its highest audience levels since it was first broadcast in 1926.