In 2012 the BBC recorded material for several episodes of their long running programme “Songs of Praise.” at St Mary’s, Portsea. The recording features many singers from across the Portsmouth area, and beyond, amongst a congregation of over 600.

Music is an important aspect of the life of the community at St Mary’s, and our regular worship is supported by the excellent St Mary’s Choir, which features around 40 singers of all ages, and is led by Mr Brian Moles the Director of Music. The work of developing the musical life of the Church is augmented by the St Mary’s Music Foundation, a charity that provides free music tuition to local children in Fratton, as well as opportunities to perform in a series of regular concerts at the church.

The Songs of Praise recording has provided an opportunity for the musical life of the church to receive exposure at a national level. If you would like to know more about the work of the choir or Music Foundation, or would be interested in singing or learning to sing with us, contact Brian Moles.

St Mary’s church building occupies the oldest sacred site in Portsmouth (possibly dating back to 650 AD) and was built in the 1880’s. It’s extraordinary scale and architectural beauty not only fulfil the purpose of glorifying God, but also have made it a well loved sacred space, where people from across Portsmouth, and further afield come to explore their faith and worship God.

Working with the BBC has provided the unique opportunity to share that sense of awe and wonder in this beautiful worship space with a national audience. If you would like to visit to ’come and explore what lies within’, the church building is open 9am-12noon every weekday, and the main Sunday service is at 10am.

Being able to accommodate the BBC’s production team has only been possible because of the full involvement and participation in the project of the community that regularly worships at St Mary’s. From cleaning and preparing the building and welcoming visitors, to parking cars and preparing refreshments for the technical teams, the congregation’s full engagement with this project is just a small part of the packed calendar of events through which these people serve the local community. Another major event is the annual St Mary’s Community May Fayre.

Take a look at the parish calendar and photo boards to see the full range things going on at St Mary’s. If you would like to be involved in some of these events, then sign up for the regular email of events or contact one of the clergy.

The recorded programmes will be broadcast on Easter Day 2012 and 19th August 2012 and at a further date in March 2013

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