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London East and South East

New initiative to welcome musicians in London’s churches following controversy

todayNovember 1, 2017 19

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According to the diocese, it’s part of a new initiative that “asserts the central role of music in the life of London’s churches”. launches has details of seven churches in the City of London that have facilities available for hire. It includes details of church spaces available to hire, with details of their capacity, facilities, and practical specifications for concerts.

In tandem, a series of concerts, events and spiritual support programmes will also be organised .

The Rt Rev Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden and Acting Bishop of London, said the diocese treasures its relationships with musicians.

He said in a statement: “This Musicians Church Website will celebrate this partnership, through our service to musicians, through our church buildings resounding with the glory and mystery of music, and through our service to all as we live out our love of God and neighbour.”

Bishop Pete will act as Patron, alongside John Rutter CBE and Julian Lloyd Webber.

These new efforts come after a London church known as the National Musicians’ Church was criticised by Rutter, who’s one of the UK’s best-known composers, after it said it wouldn’t allow choirs and orchestras to play non-Christian music.

In August, St. Sepulchre’s Without Newgate Church in Holborn said an increasingly busy programme of worship and church activities led to ever higher demands on the church space.

Back then Rutter said the decision meant the church had “betrayed” musicians, many of whom use it as a rehearsal and warm-up space for larger concerts including the Proms.

In February 2018 a launch concert for the new initiative will take place and will be conducted by Rutter.

The Diocese of London has launched a new website aimed at welcoming musicians to book concerts and rehearsals at the city’s churches.

Written by: Rufus Olaniyan

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