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The 369th Clergy Support Trust Festival will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral, on Tuesday 7 May 2024, 5pm.

The Festival is an act of worship, giving thanks for Anglican clergy while also celebrating the work of Clergy Support Trust. We provide independent, confidential and inclusive support to clergy and their families, and last year we supported over 2,700 households with £6.2m in grants.

The Clergy Support Trust Festival is a unique occasion in the choral music calendar, bringing together cathedral choirs who would not normally get the chance to sing together. This year, we welcome Durham, Rochester and St Paul's Cathedral Choirs.

The event is free and open to all, whether you're an avid choral music enthusiast, or you're new to the experience and are looking to discover something new.

The Choir of St Paul's Cathedral mid-performance. A seated audience are watching. The floor is chequered, and the choir are dressed in white robes.

Blending tradition with innovation

The Clergy Support Trust Festival is the longest-running choral celebration of its kind in the world, having first taken place in 1655.

This year, it will feature a history-spanning range of music from the 17th to the 21st centuries, by Gabrieli, Parry, Elgar, Stanford and Cecilia McDowall. The Festival is a wonderful opportunity to hear exceptional choirs perform in one of the world's most spectacular buildings.

The combined choirs will sing Elgar’s anthem Give unto the Lord, originally written for the Festival back in 1914. We will also mark the centenary of Charles Villiers Stanford's death, performing the Ascension anthem Coelos ascendit hodie.

The choir of St Paul’s will sing Cecilia McDowall’s God is light, and we are delighted that Cecilia herself will join us at the Festival.

“I am always deeply grateful when my music is programmed, and I very much look forward to hearing the choirs of Durham, Rochester, and St Paul’s Cathedrals join forces for the Clergy Support Trust Festival.”

- Cecilia McDowall, Composer

“The Festival is, of course, one of many thousands of services each year which, across the Church, can draw people to faith through extraordinary music. Supporting the Festival not only ensures the Trust can continue to operate into the future, but it also contributes to the development of choral excellence, and to welcoming people to faith through music.”

- The Revd Ben Cahill-Nicholls, Chief Executive of Clergy Support Trust

The interior view of St Paul's Cathedral from above, looking down from the dome. Hundreds of people are seated.

Book your free tickets

We are expecting over 1,500 guests at the Festival Service, with St Paul's Cathedral almost full to capacity. We do still have seats available, and we would love to welcome you to this majestic act of worship.

Doors open at 4pm, and we ask everyone to be seated by 4.45pm. The Festival Service will start promptly at 5pm. Please allow yourself enough time to pass through security. If you are joining the procession, please arrive at 4.15pm to robe / for your briefing.

Train strikes

Unfortunately, train strikes across several networks on Tuesday 7 May 2024 may cause delays to your journey. We would encourage you to check the website of your local train provider, and leave a little earlier than you might otherwise, just to be sure that you arrive in time.

Book now

Clergy Support Trust is the largest and oldest charity focussed on the wellbeing of clergy and their families.
The Trust, originally founded in 1655, provides confidential help for Anglican clergy and their families across the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, and Diocese in Europe. The Trust are independent, inclusive, and impartial, and we support clergy from training through to retirement.
In 2023, we provided over 6,800 grants, supporting clergy households in the Church of England with over £5.5m in grants, Church in Wales with £172,000, Church of Ireland with £141,000 and the Scottish Episcopal Church with £36,000.
Chief Executive, The Reverend Ben Cahill-Nicholls and Composer, Cecilia McDowall are both available for interview.