Archive of Recorded Church Music

"Preserving a unique and priceless recorded heritage from choirs of gentlemen and boys singing
in the English Cathedral tradition from 1902 to the present day"
  1. Our Youtube Music Channel
    Enjoy the finest music from the Archive
  2. Ripon Cathedral Choir School
    Choristers talk about life at the school, 1984
  3. Guildford Cathedral
    Concert at St Peter's Brighton, 1977
A moment in time
Click to listen and find
out more!
Sound recordings freeze moments in time and when played back allow us to understand, to experience, to be immersed in and to relive those precious moments.
Our cultural heritage
These recordings, on every format from 78s to CDs and from Anglican & Roman Catholic choirs, are part of our cultural and musical heritage.  services.
Where it all began
The recording of choirs, both great and small, has a long and illustrious history, stretching way back to 1902.

For in October of that year St Andrew's, Wells Street, London became the very first choir to issue a gramophone record.

This momentous occasion marked the beginning of a priceless recorded choral heritage unique to this country.

Preserved for future generations
The Archive's raison d'etre is to collect and preserve recordings from 1902 to the present day and in the fullness of time will be gifted to an educational institution.rvices.

The Archive's treasures

​Although the Archive holds copies of almost all commerical recordings, some of the greatest treasures are from small independent labels or private one-off recordings which often represent the only recording of that choir.

The Archive also holds Test Pressings of records which were never issued for commerical sale and are of the greatest historical importance.

More than just recordings

The Archive also houses a major collection of Radio and TV broadcasts; such as BBC Choral Evensongs, Services, Concerts and Documentaries.  

These broadcasts are of national historical importance as they give a unique snapshot of a choir at that particular moment in time.   

An extensive collection of commerial DVDs, together with Film, Radio & TV based dramas, are also held  in the Archive.

Library & Photographic Collection
A repository of everything related to recordings, choirs and church music in general, dating from 1849 to the present day, together with various ongoing research projects.  The library & photographic collection are an integral part of the Archive.

As part of this research, I am delighted to present my one hour talk which takes you on a journey through a century of recorded church music.

​This video presentation contains many rare and private recordings which are matched with archive photographs, together with my spoken commentary.   Please note, the video is designed and formatted for full screen viewing ..... it really does make a difference!

"A masterpiece ..... a triumph ....totally engrossing ....a tour de force ....the most enjoyable hour I have spend in a very long time ....I could barely tear myelf away"
Please do get in touch if you have any recordings of interest, either to donate or loan briefly for digitzing.

Whatever the format, whether 78s; reel-to-reel or cassette tapes; mini-discs; LPs and CDs, together with VHS & Betamax video and DVDs, I have the facilities to play and digitze.  Private recordings in all formats together with radio & TV broadcasts are of particular interest.  

Can you help preserve our
recorded heritage?