The most visible part of music making at St James' is the choir. Founded in 1921, the choir has been constantly recognised as one of the leading parish church choirs in the Midlands. This reputation is maintained by the hard work and dedication of the church's musicians who sing and play at two services each Sunday, and at numerous special occasions throughout the year. The choir leads the congregation in hymn singing and also offers pieces of choral music during the service.

The choir - and indeed everyone at St James the Greater - takes pride in continuing the 500 year-old tradition of English choral music that is part of both the church's and our nation's heritage.

There are two Choral Services on most Sundays. The 10.30am Eucharist and the 6.30pm Choral Evensong.

Advent Procession 2016

Advent Procession 2016
Photo: Tony Bentley


Between December and February, there are four special choral services: the Advent Carol Service, the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, the Epiphany Carol Service and a service for Candlemas. An Easter carol service is usually held after Easter. These are always extremely popular and are firm favourites with the congregation and visitors alike.

In addition to this, the choir marks special church festivals, including a Requiem Mass on All Saints' Sunday, a special service of music for Passiontide on the evening of Palm Sunday and enhancing the significance of the events of Holy Week.

Choir Logo


The choir often tour each summer. In the past the choir has visited many cathedrals, including Norwich, Peterborough, Canterbury, York Minster, Ripon, Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Truro, Carlisle, Wells, Birmingham, Chichester, Ely, Lichfield, Salisbury, Exeter, Lincoln and Beverley Minster. The choir has also given concerts while on tour in Germany, France, Switzerland and the USA. This year they will go on tour to Bristol to sing services at St Mary Redcliffe. They have recorded several CD's and has been heard on local, national and worldwide radio and television.


The Junior Choir is for boys and girls of primary school age. The choir rehearses on Fridays 4.30-5.30pm and sings in Sunday services roughly once a month, where they sing alongside the Senior Choir. The Junior Choristers also take part in special services and concerts such as the Community Carol Service. There are no auditions, as the children are taught to sing by the Director of Music through learning the traditional choral repertoire, alongside fun songs and games which develop their musicianship. It is free to take part, and indeed the children get a small amount of choir pay for the rehearsals and services they take part in, as well as a drink and a biscuit!

The Senior Choir is for anyone who is age 11+ ie secondary school age and adults, including university students. Their main rehearsals are on Fridays 6.45pm-8.30pm with a chorister training session for the secondary age choristers to work towards the Royal School of Church Music Awards. They sing Sunday services: Eucharist at 10.30am (9.30am-11.30am) and Choral Evensong at 6.30pm (5.30pm-7.30pm). Choral Scholarships are available, for experienced singers who are in full-time education by application and audition. In return for their hard work and dedication, they are paid a small allowance, which increases with experience, and extra sums are paid for singing at special services, such as weddings.

Hymn: How shall I sing that majesty?

Singing in a choir such as this is about the only activity where boys and girls as young as four can work with and achieve the same standards at the same time as adults. The lessons learned by such teamwork will remain with them for the rest of their lives. They receive a free music education and have the opportunity to make lasting friendships with like-minded people.

For more information about joining the choir, please contact , .

Places are also available for adult singers in the Countertenor/Alto, Tenor and Bass sections.


The normal rehearsals and services, during term-time are as follows:

16:30 - 17:30   (Junior Choristers)
18:15 - 18:45   (Chorister Training 13-18yo)
18:45 - 20:30   (Full Rehearsal)
09:30 - 10:20   (Full Rehearsal)
10:30 - 11:45   (Service)
17:30 - 18:20   (Full Rehearsal)
18:30 - 19:30   (Service)


The St James' Singers provide choral music at services when the Boys', Girls' and ATB are on holiday; these services are generally on the Sundays that occur during half terms and other school holidays. They also join the regular choirs for some services during the year. Rehearsals are held on alternate Thursday evenings and any singer who can read music is welcome to join the singers.

Hymn: How shall I sing that majesty?

If you would like more information then please contact the .

There is a Facebook page for the choirs. This is a way of keeping touch with old choristers and to occasionally distribute information. If you know of anybody who is or was a member, please let them know.

The latest Music Lists and Choir Calendars are available to download as PDF files.

The Church of St James the Greater is committed to providing a safe and caring environment for all.
We have safeguarding and protection policies that follow nationally recommended guidelines.

For further information, please contact our , .

If you wish to speak to someone outside of St James the Greater, the Diocesan Safeguarding Team are also available.

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