St Mary's Choir

Do you sing Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass then we'd love to meet you. St Mary's church has a fine musical tradition. Join our choir, new members are always welcome. The church & choir are both affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music; see below. Members sing at 9.30am and 6.30pm Sunday Services and take part in Weddings and several Festivals throughout the year. First class training is given by Michael Grave our Director of Music. Choir practice is held at 4.30pm in the church on the 1st, 2nd, 4th & 5th Sundays and on the Thursday before the 3rd Sunday at 7.00pm. The Choir possess a wide repertoire of Hymns, Songs, Anthems and Psalms from the 16th Century to the formative cutting edge of contemporary music. Want to know more? Contact Michael Grave.


 RSCM Durham Area Programme



Sunday 14th May - Barnard Castle Methodist Church Hymns of Glory – Songs of Praise 3pm rehearsal and 5pm Service Explore hymns old and new for the seasons of Easter to Trinity with Dr. Martin Clarke (Elvet Methodist & one of Editors of Singing the Faith) and Professor John Richard Watson (Dick Watson) of Durham University. This event is aimed at members of congregations and choirs. Free with retiring collection


 Wednesday 14th June - St Helen’s, Auckland An evening of wine and song 7.30pm – 9.15pm An evening devoted to fun and enjoying excellent wine and cheese following an hour’s singing exploring music for smaller choirs including music from the OUP Flexible Anthem Book and music from the Accessible Choral Library led by Andrew Robinson. Suggested donation: £4 Booking Essential by Monday 5th June


AREA FESTIVAL EVENTS – GILPIN 500 Through music, word and scripture we explore the life of Bernard Gilpin (1517 – 1583) often known as “Apostle of the North”. 

Thursday 6th July - Whitburn Parish Church 7.30pm Launching the Festival, farewell to James Lancelot and Fish and Chip supper  Explore the music for the festival as a whole choir and then enjoy fish & chips. This will be our opportunity to say farewell to James Lancelot who retires this summer. Festival Books - £5.50 each Fish and Chips £5.50 per person BOOKING ESSENTIAL by Friday 30th June.

Thursday 14th September  St Michael and All Angels, Houghton le Spring 7.30pm – 9pm  Rehearse the music for the festival in the church where Bernard Gilpin is buried. 


Saturday 14th October - Durham Cathedral – Area Festival Arrive 1.30pm (meet in The Chapter House) Rehearsal 2pm – 4pm & Service 5.15pm

Music and Spirituality: captured moments
Music and Spirituality Retreat Sep 16 cu
MP4 Video/Audio File 4.3 MB

Congratulations to Michael and Jean who received a special volunteers award from the National Trust for their dedication and service in bringing beautiful music and song to Gibside Chapel for more than fifteen years! The award was presented on behalf of the National Trust Gibside by Sonia Middleton, herself a dedicated volunteer and Chapel Guide. Don't forget we have Choral evensong every first Sunday of the month at 3pm.


Royal School of Church Music, Durham Area. St Mary's Church & Choir is affiliated to the RSCM, which supports a world wide network of over 8000 churches, schools and individuals. The RSCM is committed to achieving the best use of good music in worship - whatever the resources, whatever the style. Regular local events and training are held throughout the Durham Diocese; contact Michael Grave for further information. The RSCM offer support through education, training, publications, advice and encouragement to churches and their musicians; investing now in the church music of the future.

Newcastle and District Society of Organists. The Society encompasses all who have an interest in the organ and its music; whether novice, professional, player or listener. It holds regular sessions in Newcastle and Gateshead including visits, training sessions, lecture recitals, master classes and holds a class at the Ryton Music Festival. Michael Grave our Director of Music is a past President of the NDSO and a co-organiser of the successful Great North Organ Day.