The Choir exists to lead and enrich the worship of the historic parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Merton SW19, which celebrates its 900th year in 2015. The Choir itself has a long and distinguished history, and is one of the last parish choirs in London to maintain an historic chorister tradition. We have a rich and varied repertoire spanning more than 500 years and welcome enquiries from potential new singers (both adults and young people). St Mary Merton provides a free musical education from professional musicians to young singers from across south London aged 7+, as well as being at the heart of music-making - and the community - in Merton Park.
The Choir has been at the heart of worship at St Mary's for generations; our records show that a choir similar to the modern-day one has existed at St Mary's for over 150 years - probably longer.
The modern Choir, which numbers around 35, is made up of adult volunteers (men and women) and choral scholars (aged 14-18) who sing the alto, tenor and bass lines, and boy and girl choristers (aged 7+) who sing the treble line. Many of the gentlemen in the back row sang at St Mary's as choristers, and we are proud of our heritage and tradition. It is the aim of the parish to support all those who contribute to music in worship and preserve it for generations to come.
As well as supporting worship at home, the Choir regularly performs in concert and visits cathedrals across the UK to sing week-long residencies. In recent years these have taken the Choir to Winchester (2014), Southwark (2016 & 2019), Ely (2019), Bristol (2019) and Christ Church (2022) Cathedrals, and Westminster Abbey (2016).
The Choir sings two services each Sunday during term-time - Sung Eucharist (Choral Eucharist on the first Sunday of each month) and Choral Evensong - as well as special services for the major Church feasts and festivals. It is one of very few parish choirs in London to retain a chorister tradition with no adult sopranos.
In addition, the Choir plays a key role in the local community, taking part in civic services such as that held to mark Remembrance Day. St Mary's also hosts a busy programme of recitals and concerts, many of which involve the Choir.
For details of music to be sung at choral services, please see the Music Lists.