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Podcast: Canon Victoria Johnson and Hugh Morris on the value of church music

19 January 2024

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For the podcast this week, Sarah Meyrick travelled to York to talk to the Canon Precenter of York Minster, the Revd Dr Victoria Johnson, and the director of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Hugh Morris, about the importance of church music.

The Church Times and the RSCM have together launched a new event, the Festival of Faith and Music, which takes place in York Minster from 26 to 28 April (News, 8 December). Through a programme of music and worship, talks and workshops, the festival is designed for clergy and church musicians, and seeks to celebrate church music in all its glory and to send delegates home encouraged, inspired, and equipped with new ideas for using music in worship.

Canon Johnson will be speaking at the event about her book, On Voice: Speech, song, silence: human and divine, which will be published in March by Darton, Longman & Todd (Features, 5 January). On the podcast, she talks about some of the themes in the book, including why she is inspired by the singing of football crowds and how silence also figures in her thinking about sung worship.

The keynote speaker at the Festival of Faith and Preaching will be the Archbishop of York, in a session called “Tuning forks and orchestras: Music and the mission of God”. Other speakers include Roxana Panufnik, composer of one of the works sung at the Coronation; and Andy Thomas, the author of Resounding Body: Building Christlike church communities through music. Two internationally renowned singers, James Gilchrist and Andrea Haines, both of whom started singing in parish church choirs, will talk about how it all began, and will perform some reflective music in the quire of York Minster.

Full programme and ticketing information can be found at faithandmusic.hymnsam.co.uk

Find out more about the RSCM at www.rscm.org.uk

Click the play button above to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to the Church Times Podcast on the Church Times app for iPhone and iPadSoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and most other podcast platforms. Music for the podcast is by Twisterium. 

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