Back in 2004 the then organist at St Andrews Church in Helpringham held an open evening at the church with a view of forming a choir. Although this was reasonably well attended, sadly the idea never took off. About two years later when Revd. Stuart Samuel was asked if it would be possible for him to form a choir in order to support the singing from parishioners attending church, he agreed to give it a try. A small group of singers from amongst the parishes got together which met occasionally to practice for the major Church high days, holy days and festivals – with the Harvest Festival in 2006 being their first performance.
The choir did practise the occasional anthem for services, which was always sung unaccompanied (as Stuart could not sing and play at the same time!). The choir slowly grew in number and continued to support the major festivals and the odd wedding. At this point the choir was still mainly a ‘single part’ group – but you will find this is not the case today!. They were recorded on one occasion when a DVD was produced, and it was at this time the Choir briefly adopted the name of ‘Carreaubeck Singers‘ (the name being taken from three streams which run through the parishes.)
With the departure of Rev. Stuart on his sabbatical, the group was determined to stay as a choir with the encouragement of singing at the wedding of one of the founder members. The Choir’s existence was influential in the five parishes remaining as a group after Rev. Stuart’s retirement. On his departure Stuart suggested approaching the new organist at Helpringham (Anthony Baldery) who agreed to become the Choir Master and Director of Music, which he continues to be currently.
The choir is going from strength-to-strength, with increasing numbers and also more frequent opportunities to perform – including recently at the Licensing Service for Rev. Chris Harrington, and also in concert at Burton Church. They meet every Monday evening (during term time) at either Scredington or Helpringham church from 7.30 p.m. and sing a variety of music – from Hymns … to Bernstein … to the ‘Vicar Of Dibley‘!
They are always very happy to welcome new singers to the group, so speak to any member of the choir and come along to join in the fun! You can find out more by checking out the Choir webpage here.