THE SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS IN OUR HISTORIC CHURCHES

1st December 2022, 7-8.30pm,

All Hallows by the Tower, London EC3R 5BJ

Narrator: Zeb Soanes

Presented by the Royal School of Church Music & the Churches Conservation Trust


Following a successful partnership for the virtual event The Big Christmas Carol Service (winter 2020), the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) and the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) are once again teaming up to host another unique and exciting collaboration, showcasing the continued importance of church buildings, engaging in the history of congregational singing, and exploring the living tradition of carols.

Christmas Past, Present, and Future: The Sounds of Christmas in our Historic Churches will explore the nature of traditional and modern carols and their symbolism within our churches in a unique narrative combining words, live choral music, and participative song. Classic FM presenter, concert host and author Zeb Soanes will bring to life the tale of these intertwined histories. Tickets for the live event on the 1 December cost £25 per person and include the festive concert, drinks reception, and a mince pie

About the event, Zeb Soanes says:

“I am hugely looking forward to this festive concert on the very first day of December, taking the spirit of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ to discover how the celebration of the Nativity has changed through time.

It is a real pleasure to work with both RSCM and CCT. Having grown up in Suffolk and Norfolk, the counties with the most churches in the UK, I am well aware of the vital work these charities undertake in preserving both the fabric of these historic treasures and filling them with musical and spiritual breath.”

Hugh Morris, Director of RSCM, says

It is really exciting to be offering a completely fresh take on a Christmas Concert. Beautiful words and beautiful music combine to enable us to look at Christmas past, present and future; and to celebrate how both RSCM and CCT are part of a living heritage, supporting churches, communities, and worship.”


Churches, by design, provide the perfect setting for music of every kind both acoustically and aesthetically. However, if you were to visit a church on Christmas Day 1644, you would have heard, at best, some verses from Psalms, chanted first by the clerk, and then raggedly repeated by the congregation. Since then, it is clear to see a great passion for worshiping through song emerging in a way that is both reflective of the political and social setting of the time. From slight tuneful murmurings during the Reformation to theatrical styles of worship in the Victorian era, to the inspirational carols we know and love today. During this unique, interactive, event, Zeb will explore what we may come to expect from carols in the future by reflecting on their journey over the past 400 years.

All Hallows by the Tower

In addition to filling the oldest church in the City of London with festive sounds, a digital recording of the event will also be made available, providing those who are unable to join in person or those who simply wish to relive the evening with the opportunity to listen, learn, and enjoy the event online from 14 December at 7pm at the very reasonable price of £5.  All sale proceeds will be split evenly between CCT and RSCM to contribute to each charity’s important work.

Tickets & further info https://www.visitchurches.org.uk/what-s-on/the-sounds-of-christmas-in-our-historic-churches.html

Zeb Soanes