York is to host the first-ever Church Times Festival of Faith and Music in partnership with the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) in April 2024.

The Festival brings together a stimulating programme of music and worship, talks and workshops over a weekend celebrating church music in all its glory – hoping to send delegates home encouraged, inspired and equipped with new and practical ideas.

From the 26th to the 28th April 2024, an exciting and engaging range of speakers, discussions, and workshops will include a keynote speech by the Archbishop of York and dedicated services held in York Minster. A choice of workshops will run on subjects as diverse as taking your church choir into the community, using music to support your church’s engagement with dementia, caring for a pipe organ, choosing hymns, and growing the church younger through music. Top-flight professional singers James Gilchrist and Andrea Haines will contribute, both of whom began their singing lives in parish church choirs, as well as Victoria Johnson, Alexander L’Estrange, and The Ebor Singers.

The Festival is for music leaders, clergy, and anyone with a general interest in sacred music, and will be a source of celebration, inspiration, encouragement, and resource. Discounts will be available to RSCM members and Church Times subscribers. The Festival programme runs largely on the Friday and Saturday – but with a chance to enjoy the splendour of York Minister on the Sunday.

Festival Directors Sarah Meyrick (Church Times) said: "Building on our many years’ experience running our Festivals of Preaching and of Faith and Literature we’re delighted to be adding this new event to our stable. Over the weekend there will be a rich menu of interesting sessions, delivered by some excellent speakers. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming festival-goers to York for what should be a very stimulating couple of days."

Hugh Morris (Director, RSCM) added: "I am delighted that we are working together with the Church Times to put on this new Festival. Music is such an important part of worship, and we have put together a wide range of sessions on topics which we hope will appeal to music leaders, clergy leaders, and church music lovers alike. I am sure it will be a really engaging and interesting weekend and am myself already looking forward to attending."

Tickets are available to book now - more information, including the festival programme, can be found on the Festival of Faith and Music website.