St Andrew's

Psalter Lane


Music Report 2023

Music Report 22/23



  • Development of relations between SAPL and cellist Tom Pickles. Tom got in touch with SAPL to ask if we would be interested in him playing some cello during a service. We enthusiastically responded, “yes please!” and this successfully came to fruition on 4th December 2022 where Tom performed during Communion. 1h20m30s in this video. Following on from the success of the communication to realise this initial performance, we asked Tom if he would be interested in playing for the Good Friday service which he did and Tom will now hire SAPL to give a solo concert on Saturday 24th June 2023.


  • Although there wasn’t a Christingle service in 2022 the Christmas Carol service was conducted within SAPL again for the first time since the pandemic and the church was packed. The service was also notable for experimenting with intentional lighting that differs from the standard lighting available in the church. 


  • Also for the first time since the pandemic was the Good Friday service 2023. This carried on the tradition of the last decade or so of welcoming a musician or ensemble to SAPL to provide a musical dimension to the Good Friday service. Naomi also introduced two hymns and unaccompanied congregational singing to the format. As mentioned above, the musician this year was Tom Pickles. 


  • Although there are still no regular choir rehearsals, two major services (the Christmas Carol Service 2022 and Easter Sunday 2023) have included a choir which has consisted of members of the pre-pandemic SAPL choir, members of the congregation who haven’t sung in the choir before, and also friends and family of congregation or choir members. This resulted in a wonderfully wide range of ages in the choir for both services. Rehearsing of material was done by a mixture of recordings initially being sent to the choir that they could learn individual parts from and this was followed up with in-person rehearsals prior to the performances.


  • Clients hiring SAPL have made specific use of the live-streaming system being available, e.g. the system has been used to enable a wider reach and inclusivity for services such as weddings and funerals so that people unable to attend in person on the day could be part of the services. A video of the event is automatically created for the client to have as a momento. This is a real strength of the live-streaming system.


  • Between September and December 2022 the Wednesday morning service was regularly streamed in a way that Imogen Clout had originally envisaged, i.e. it was possible to attend the service either in person or online and for real-time conversation to take place between the people in the church and the people online, thus enabling the people online to join in with the discussion of the text. Although the Wednesday morning service is no longer streamed in this way, it provided a valuable “stepping stone” for people wishing to attend this service but who weren’t able to attend in person at that time but who later attended in person. It also provided proof-of-concept for Imogen’s vision of the hybrid service and how the live-streaming set up can be used.


  • In-person music concerts and rehearsals continue to take place at SAPL, some for the first time since the pandemic, such as the St. Andrew’s Music Festival in November.


  • Local house-concert series “Live @ Sam’s” is experimenting with putting on larger-scale concerts at SAPL. The first of these will be a performance by Sam Sweeney on Friday 5th May 2023.


  • New hymns are being introduced to the congregation through the continued use of the Singing the Faith hymn book.


  • There is video evidence of all the services mentioned above as well as all the Sunday services that have been streamed in the past year (which is almost every Sunday, if not every Sunday). Which is a fantastic achievement.



  • Currently no regular choir rehearsals or regular choir in the services.


  • The live-streaming set up still currently relies on some of Simon’s personal equipment. This is being gradually addressed and the majority of equipment being used is now SAPL’s but some key bits of equipment still need to be purchased.


  • There are often inconsistencies in the quality of sound and video of the live-streams.


  • Lighting in the church is well-suited to the regular services but is not particularly well-suited to creating a sense of atmosphere for other events.


  • Looking ahead to future potential uses of the live-streaming and sound system set up and hiring of SAPL, it is becoming clear that a digital mixer with more audio inputs and outputs and, specifically, the ability to have audio inputs and outputs in the chancel / dais area as well as on the balcony would be beneficial to SAPL. The current digital mixer works extremely well, represents excellent value for money and was purchased according to a budget. However, it is restrictive in that the number of audio inputs can’t be expanded.
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