THE Cantignorus Chorus, a community choir set up at St Paul’s, West Hackney, in London, has released its third single, “Bring Them Here for Christmas”, about the plight of unaccompanied child refugees in Calais (News, 28 October).
The choir has 65 members who work for charities which use the church hall throughout the week. These include North London Action for the Homeless, Narcotics Anonymous, Open Doors, and Family Mosaic Housing Association. The proceeds of the record, released on Wednesday, are to support their work.
“When we first set up the choir, these groups were like oil and water, and music was a way of bringing them together,” the Rector of St Paul’s, the Revd Niall Weir, wrote in a C of E blog this week. “In the choir, people are divided only by what voice they sing, whether soprano, alto, tenor, or bass.
“One of the lovely aspects of this has been that the people who would never normally meet are in contact with each other. A local mum with two children will stop and say hello to a drug addict in the street because they know each other from the choir where they once would have passed by without acknowledgement.”
Mr Weir co-wrote the song with the director of the Cantignorus Chorus, Tom Daggett, who is an organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, and the composer Barrie Bignold (who also produced the record), after hearing concerns from choir members about the vulnerability of refugees in Calais. It was recorded at Angel Recording Studios in Islington last month, and was funded by the Church Urban Fund initiative Near Neighbours.
“The message of our new single is that wherever you are from,” Mr Weir wrote, “you are a member of the human family, and you are loved and we would like to extend our hospitality to you however we can.”
“Bring Them Here for Christmas” is available to download from iTunes. Watch the video here: vimeo.com/194513225