Saffron Walden

Our Lady of Compassion




Music is an important part of the Liturgy in our church. We are always looking for new members to join the Traditional Choir and the Folk Group.

Traditional Choir

The Traditional Choir leads the congregational singing at the 10.30 Mass on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th (and if required, 5th) Sunday of the month and major Feast Days. There is no music in August.

The hymns are sung in unison, though four-part singing is encouraged for some pieces, e.g. Taize.

For Christmas- and Easter-tide, a 'Celebration Choir' is formed. The choir's ranks are swelled by proficient parish singers who are unable to commit to singing seated with the choir on Sundays, but who are able to join us for Midnight Mass and also services from Passion Sunday through Holy Week to the Easter Vigil.

New members to the Traditional or Celebration Choir are always welcomed, especially male voices.

Choir practices are on an 'as and when needed' basis to learn new hymns, but usually in the weeks proceeding Christmas and Easter.

Pro tempore, the choir is led by Stephanie Gill, who hopes that one day a real choir leader will move into the parish and possbily enable the choir to sing formal pieces again.

Currently we have one organist, who would gladly welcome sharing the position!

Again, please do contact Stephanie for more information.

Folk Group

The Folk Group has been running for approximately 28 years and offers a style of music for the Mass which both complements and contrasts with the more traditional nature of the music sung at the other Masses. The group consists of a committed band of instrumentalists and singers, young and not so young, who lead the 10:30 Mass usually on the first Sunday of each month, as well as on specific special occasions. At the moment we have guitars, clarinets, flutes, a saxophone (and a violin player waiting to make her debut with us) and we are always ready to welcome new players.

We do not hold auditions or have regular practices but, in general, although some of the Mass acclamations are quite easy to play (grade 1 or 2), some of the hymns can be quite challenging, mainly because of the key signatures. A standard of at least grade 4 would be about the level required. But do not let that put you off - if you can't play a piece, you can definitely sing it! All voices are welcome. Joining the Folk Group is a wonderful way to be more involved with the Mass as well as an opportunity to enjoy making music together.

If you would like more information, then please contact Ann Clinton.