New Anthem for our Choir by Christopher Gower

On Sunday 9th July, our choir sang a new anthem at our Sung Eucharist that had been composed especially for them by Christopher Gower. Christopher has had a long and distinguished career as a cathedral Organist and Choirmaster, holding positions at Exeter Cathedral, Portsmouth Cathedral and Peterborough Cathedral. On his retirement he moved to Canterbury.

Having given the world premiere, our choir will be giving the London premiere in Southwark Cathedral on Sunday 16th July.

Songs of Praise

6.00pm Sunday 2nd July 2023

We will be holding a ‘Songs of Praise’ service at St Stephen’s at 6pm on Sunday 2nd July 2023. All of the hymns at the service will be chosen by you – some will be chosen by popularity, based on the most votes that they receive, but others (as this is also an opportunity to raise some funds for St Stephen’s) will be selected by receiving the highest bid. However… it is also possible to bid to block a hymn from being sung!

To vote for your favourite hymn, please complete the form below and make your bid donation no later than Sunday 18th June. It would also be lovely to hear why you have chosen the hymn, so please indicate on the form if you’d be willing to speak about your choice during the service. If you’ve got lots of favourites, you can always submit an additional form or two!

Where have half the choir gone?!

Unfortunately, revised guidance issued by government this week has limited the number of singers who are allowed to sing together inside to a maximum of six. Consequently, members of our choir, despite singing safely distanced for several weeks now, are having to take it in turn to sing. So much for moving forwards out of lockdown; hopefully this rule will be overturned soon.

Choir Open Morning

Monday 17th February 10.00–11.30am
St Stephen’s Church, Hales Drive, Canterbury, CT2 7AB

Are you between 7 and 11 years old?

Do you enjoy singing and making music? 

Come along to St Stephen’s Church for a fun morning of singing on the Monday of half-term, and see what it would be like to be a chorister.

Information for your parents or carers…

St Stephen’s is well-known for it’s choir throughout Kent. We believe that music is important not just to enrich our church services, but for our individual general well-being.

Our regular rehearsals for our junior choir will be on Monday evenings, 5.00–6.00pm with plenty of opportunities to sing with our main choir at Sunday morning services.

Our Director of Music, Stephen Barker, has over 20 years experience of working with choirs and is also a qualified music teacher.  All of our adults who work directly with young people have an enhanced DBS disclosure; we take safeguarding very seriously.

What could your son or daughter get from joining a choir?

Singing in a choir is a great way to develop as a musician – there’s lots of research about the positive effect that music has on the academic development of young people.  Amanda Spielman, head of ofsted, recently said that “mastering singing sets children up well for a musical future”, so singing in a choir may spark a greater musical interest and develop into learning to play a musical instrument.  Singing as part of a choir is also great for developing concentration and the sense of contributing to something as part of a team.  It’s also a great way to make friends who share similar interests!

if you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me by emailing

I look forward to meeting you and your son or daughter at our Open Morning on 17th February, or at any following Monday evening rehearsals.

Galliard Trio: Concert in Aid of Christian Aid

Galliard concert poster March 2019

Christian AID Charity Event
The Galliard Trio in Concert on Saturday 30th March, 7:30pm in St Peter’s Methodist Church. Music featured includes Mozart, Bartok, Bach and Mussorgsky.
Please come and enjoy an evening of beautiful music to support this year’s Christian Aid Week (12th-18th May) events.

Tickets at £10 (£5 for students) available from Jean Barber, phone 831956 or Doro Thyssen phone 479164 (eve) or come and find me after church.

Tudor Performances and Worship at St Stephen’s

Presented by the University of Kent, and returning to St Stephen’s after nearly 500 hundred years, John Bale’s inflammatory play about notorious King John is as controversial as ever. Join the Cultures of Performance research group as we workshop extracts from the play, bringing it back to life, along with some of the atmosphere of Reformation St Stephen’s. Featuring music, architectural projections, and some familiar faces from the community, the performance will explore how the play engages with the parish, Canterbury and Kent as they were in the 1540s and how they are today.

To coincide with this performance, the following Sunday, worship will be according to the Book of Common Prayer which has its roots in the sixteenth century, and accompanied by music by John Merbecke who published the Book of Common Prayer Noted in 1550, and by Thomas Tallis who’s compositions straddled the Reformation.

Organ update – November 2014

Work is now well under way putting the pipework back into our organ. As each rank of pipes is put back into the organ, each pipe is individually tuned, and adjusted to speak clearly and quickly, and at the correct volume. This process will be repeated three or four times for each rank as the organ is put together to ensure that everything balances well and works as a coherent instrument.

So far, work has been progressing on the Great pipework and the Pedal Bourdon.