SEVEN churches in the City of London have contributed to an “online home” for musicians who seek a place to rehearse and perform. It was launched by the diocese of London on Wednesday (News, 29 September).
Other churches are expected to add their details to the site www.musicianschurch.org, and a steering group will develop concerts, events, and spiritual-support programmes “to celebrate and develop the partnership in the gospel between churches and musicians”.
The Bishop of Willesden and Acting Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, will be a patron. At the launch in St Michael Paternoster Royal, in the City of London, he said that the Church’s partnership with musicians was “one of our most treasured relationships”.
The launch comes after the announcement by St Sepulchre’s, in the City of London, known as the Musician’s Church, that it would no longer be available for hire by outside organisations, owing to “the challenges of using a space dedicated to worship for non-religious hiring” (News, 18 August). The decision, which provoked an outcry from musicians, and led to mediation efforts by Bishop Broadbent and the Archdeacon of London, the Ven. Luke Miller.
Although St Sepulchre’s has announced plans to work with musicians to “put together an exciting programme of services, concerts, and musical events for 2018”, it was reported that it had resisted reversing its decision (News, 29 December). The website is the diocese’s response.
Bishop Broadbent will be working alongside other patrons, including Julian Lloyd Webber, Judith Weir, and Dr John Rutter, who will conduct a concert to launch the website in February. The steering group, which includes the director of music at St Martin-in-the-Fields and a former director of music at St Sepulchre’s, Dr Andrew Earis, may decide on a formal structure, such as a charity, in future.