Although small in numbers, especially in the lower parts, our talented and dedicated choir take a full part in our Sunday Sung Eucharist with a variety of settings, especially of the “Agnus Dei”, and an anthem.
The repertoire extends from plainsong (Gregorian chant) to 21st century items several of which have been composed for the choir by Duncan Faulkner.
In the past we have joined with the Gregorian Association in singing services at Glastonbury Abbey, Guildford Cathedral, Portsmouth Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and most recently at St Mary's, Primrose Hill, to celebrate the centenary of the publication of the English Hymnal.
Also we have joined with the choir of St Anne's, Wandsworth, in concerts in support of our respective Churches. Our recent joint concerts, which included music by Haydn, Schubert, Ireland, Faulkner, Howells and Vaughan Williams, were thoroughly enjoyed by the audiences and choirs.
The choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music () and the younger members have achieved considerable success in examinations.
We are always looking for new members, so if you are interested please make contact or come to one of our services (no choir in August).
As part of our Patronal Celebrations in 2016 our Parish Priest, Fr James Rosenthal, wrote the words of a new hymn in honour of St James. Beckie Sturge, a member of our choir and at present studying music, composed a matching tune which was sung for the first time at our parish Mass on 24th July. You can hear a synthesised version of this tune, named St James Merton, and our choir hopes to record a version in the near future.
|1.||Sing we songs of holy praise
On this joyous wondrous feast day
Great St James we honour you
Celebrate we in this glad way
May your prayers for us extend;
Christ's apostle and his friend.
|5.||Hear his voice, his peace proclaimed|
To his holy friends, apostles,
Now with them we share our prayer
As with faith and gladness follow
Christ our friend and saviour blest
Seeking now that heavenly rest.
|2.||Sons of thunder James and John
Following their Lord and Master
Sons of Zebedee whose fame
Brings them close to him who loves them,
So like James and John may we
Closer to our saviour be.
|6.||First among the saintly band|
To receive the martyrs glory
As in life and now in death
You proclaim the wondrous story
Hear our alleluias blend
Sing to Christ who lives again.
|3.||Seen with shining glorious light
On the mountain, dazzling brightness
James you share the wondrous sight
Christ is shown in perfect glory
Now we see that vision blest
Of Christ's splendour manifest.
|7.||We now join the pilgrim way|
In our joys and in our sorrows
Ever seeking day by day
Till we share that glorious morrow
Where our prayers as incense rise
As Christ glory fills the skies.
|4.||In Gethsemane you wait
As around you all are sleeping
In the silence of the night
Bitter anguish, sounds of weeping
Now his tears are mixed with fear
As his sacrifice draws near.