The choir’s main function is to lead the worship at the main service held on a Sunday morning at St. Stephen’s; the 10am Choral Eucharist. In addition, there are weddings, funerals and occasional Evensongs held at St. Stephen’s, as well as additional visits to cathedrals to lead the sung services there (such as Southwark Cathedral).
The repertoire is rich and varied, and consists of hymns and worship songs, psalms and canticles, responses, carols, music from Iona and Taizé, and some of the finest anthems from the sixteenth century to the present day.
It is a repertoire that has been richly expanded by the inspirations of many composers such as Tallis, Gibbons, Byrd, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Wesley, Stanford, Howells and modern composers such as John Rutter and James Macmillan.
The choir usually rehearses and leads the Sunday worship during school term-time with congregational services being held on the remaining Sundays. However, the choir also sings for services during the major festivals in the churches’ calendar, including Advent, Christmas, Easter and Saints Days.
Currently the choristers rehearse every Friday evening during term time, with the full choir joining them once a month. There is also a full rehearsal prior to each Sunday morning service and additional rehearsals for special services such as the Lessons are Carols service, usually held on the fourth Sunday in Advent.