Young Hackney choristers take part in star-studded Virtual Evensong

Hackney Childrens Choir singing with the Choristers St Pauls Cathedral under their director Andrew

Hackney Childrens Choir singing with the Choristers St Pauls Cathedral under their director Andrew Carwood. Picture: Reverend Niall Weir - Credit: Reverend Niall Weir

Young people from Hackney joined over 300 singers and a host of celebrities in a Virtual Evensong Service.

The Reverend Niall Weir, Rector of St Paul’s Church in West Hackney, curated the prayers on May 19 for the 500-year-old tradition and asked three young choristers to represent Hackney and their respective faiths.

He told the Gazette: “A key theme of the service was that of unity and it’s been a great joy for me to see three young people from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith groups here in Hackney and within my parish, wonderfully embodying this spirit of unity.”

“Hackney is world-renowned for its creativity and diversity, so it’s fitting that the borough has an important role in this unique Evensong.“

Each young person led a prayer in the service, which comprised of over 950 audio and video submissions from around the world.

The service was organised by the Rodolphus Foundation and featured stars including Stephen Fry, Alexander Armstrong, Simon Russell Beale and the Reverend Richard Coles.

Speaking before the service, Ralph Allwood, The Rodolfus Foundation’s musical director said: “I am touched by the range of singers who have contributed. I have had some wonderful letters telling me how contributing has brought them great joy during a lonely lockdown. We so miss bringing beautiful music to beautiful buildings.”

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The project was organised in aid of the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund, set up by the Friends of Cathedral Music and the Ouseley Church Music Trust. The fund aims to raise £1 million to support choirs facing hardship during the coronavirus crisis.

The Reverend Niall Weir’s church, St Paul’s West Hackney, works in partnership with St Paul’s Cathedral in running Hackney Choral, which holds two weekly children’s choirs and a series of summer courses for local children.

The Rodolphus Foundation’s bursary scheme helps support the Hackney Choral singers attend residential choral courses in English Cathedrals and College Chapels.

To donate to the Catehdral Choirs’ Emergency Fund click here.

To find out more about St Paul’s Church in West Hackney visit

Visit for more details of 728 cathedrals, churches and chapels in Britain and Ireland, in which Evensong is sung by choirs - daily, weekly or monthly.

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