Welcome to the music at St Olave’s


The Eucharist is at the heart of our life as a community at St Olave's, holding us together in our diversity. Our worship is formal, with a ritual that is performed carefully but with a lightness of touch, creating time for reflection and allowing a sense of God’s presence. It is an intentionally inclusive form of worship that creates the space for us to be ourselves and yet simultaneously part of a greater whole. There is an emphasis on the ministry of the word and sacraments as well as music.

The high standard of sung worship at St Olave's is led by our Director of Music, Keith Wright, and the Assistant Director of Music, Max Elliott. There is a mixed robed choir presently comprising adults, teenagers and the Junior Choir. We are fortunate in being able to draw upon a wide and growing repertoire. Music is very closely linked to the liturgy at St Olave's and much thought and effort goes towards ensuring that what is sung enriches our worship.

The current Music List is available here.

Choir recruitment is ongoing; we currently have a Junior Choir (ages 6-13) section which meets on Tuesdays from 4.00-5.00 pm. Other singers are welcome; the choir currently includes singers of school or university age through to those who are retired. The Director of Music is always happy to talk to prospective members, either after a service or by email: keith.wright@stolave.org.uk 

The organ in St Olave's is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the city. Built by J W Walker and Sons in 1907, it has been enlarged and overhauled many times, notably in 2004. Recent work (2018) has included the renewal of the Great stop action, and some minor revisions to the specification. A history and current stop-list is available here.


Summer Music Festival at St Olave’s


From 23 June until 14 July the church is hosting a Summer Music Festival, with a series of five linked concerts. The series begins on Sturday 23 June at 8.00 with the Academy of St Olave's celebrating its 40th anniversary in a concert of Boyce, Strauss, Mendelssohn and Beethoven conducted by John Bryan. Then we have a visit from Daniel Hyde (Organist at St Thomas, Fifth Avenue, New York), who will give a solo recital on Wednesday 27 June at 7.30 (tickets £8 at the door), followed by a concert with the church choir, conducted by Keith Wright, on Saturday 30 June at 7.00, to mark the centenary of the death of Hubert Parry. Including the three large-scale anthems (Hear my words, I was glad and Blest pair of sirens), the organ Fantasia and Fugue in G, plus smaller works for choir and organ, the concert should be a marvellous celebration of one of the country's most important composers of church music. Tickets are available from the Director of Music, or from the National Centre for Early Music (www.ncem.co.uk). Organ recitals foillow - firstly by Timothy Hone (Organist of All Saints Pavement) on Wednesday 4 July at 7.30, and finally by Keith Wright (Organist of St Olave's) on Saturday 14 July; both are free, with a retiring collection.