St John of Jerusalem’s community choir - uniting individual voices in harmony for Hackney

The St John of Jerusalem Festival Chorus – a community choir - has been performing major choral works and enriching parish life in South Hackney for 22 years.

Performing two large concerts in the church each year, with an orchestra and professional soloists, admission is free and all are welcome. Recent concerts have included a performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and a production of Handel’s ‘Alexander’s Feast’, with 15ft puppets moving through the church!

Aside from these major concerts, there are musical workshops, fundraising events and smaller performances open to participation by all.

Allchurches Trust provides an annual grant to dioceses all over the UK and Ireland, which enable some really important work, from funding clergy to act as a catalyst for community cohesion and social action in some of the most disadvantaged parishes, to education and music.

In the Diocese of London, our annual grant helps to maintain a clergy presence - providing both pastoral support and community leadership - in around 19 parishes in areas of need, including South Hackney.

The Reverend Andrew Wilson, Rector of St John of Jerusalem, said: “Our church undoubtedly benefits from being the home of the Festival Chorus and the audiences who come to hear the choir perform, but it is the other things, just beneath the surface, that make the Festival Chorus such a special part of our church.

“The cohesion and friendships formed have really borne fruit in both good times and bad, and I know the support and love that our choir members have for each other has been hugely important in their own lives and in the life of St John of Jerusalem.”

The Festival Chorus is open to all and includes people with a wide range of musical experience. There are no auditions and no restrictions to age, religion or faith, disability, ethnicity or sexuality, and financial circumstances are never a barrier to joining.