The St Mungo Singers

2016 – 2017

Welcome back, everyone. The choir begins the new session on Sunday August 13th with a choir mass at 7.00, an outline of the plans for the year ahead, and a new booklet of repertoire – some of which we have already added in the past two years.  This summary will be available with photographs at our rehearsal on Sunday.

New members are most welcome.  We rehearse at St Leo’s, 5 Beech Avenue, Glasgow G41 5BY on Sunday evenings from 7.p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Since last summer’s day trip to St Andrew’s and to Falkland Palace’s Chapel, and the few days at Scarborough, Whitby, York and Stanbrooke Abbey we have enjoyed a busy, enterprising and hopefully happy schedule of rehearsals and events. We must thank choir members and the many individual persons who make it all work – whether in printing the music on Sunday afternoons for Sunday evenings, opening the church, organising the seating, and contacting members, organising the choir diary, looking after the choir’s finances, organising our trips, making the tea, conducting, playing the organ or harp, being part of the ensemble at special occasions, doing the psalm at particular events, dealing with copyright and internet, website and Facebook matters, trying to keep in touch with retired or sick members. . . . . all the things that people do to promote the choir and music in the Archdiocese so that people may be supported in the liturgy and at prayer.

From the Opening Choir Mass in August 2016 we have been together for many rehearsals and events including the choir 45th Anniversary in the Pond Hotel for which Archbishop Philip Tartaglia wrote: ‘I’d be grateful if you could express on my behalf my deep appreciation to the St Mungo Singers for everything they have done over the years  for our diocesan liturgies and for liturgical music throughout the Archdiocese: their countless rehearsals, their great faithfulness and continuity and availability over the years, their fine singing and acute sense of the liturgy; and for making all our diocesan liturgies more beautiful, more participative and above all more sacred. The St Mungo Singers have accompanied the Archdiocese through the years of liturgical renewal and change following on Vatican II, and have done it admirably with a huge sense of service to the Church, the diocese and the liturgy. This is no ordinary thing and should not be under-estimated. The liturgical-musical service of the St Mungo Singers has been very beneficial to the diocese, and a true channel of grace.  On behalf of my predecessors, Cardinal Tom Winning and Archbishop Mario Conti. I express my heartfelt thanks to yourself as the leader and inspiration of the St Mungo Singers, the directors of the choir, the organists and musicians, and to all the members, current and past, who have contributed to making sacred music for Glasgow.’

At the start of the year Elaine realised that attending Sunday night rehearsals and travelling to work early on Monday mornings was getting too much and so wrote:“I think that I need to retire from the St Mungo Singers, or at least take some time off. …. I joined the St Mungo Singers for their 25th Anniversary Tour to Rome, first as one of the organists beside John Rafferty, and later as a conductor. I’ve enjoyed these 20 years working with the choir and it’s rewarding to hear them managing such a range of music, and rising to the challenge of singing publically in some tricky locations. Perhaps it’s now time to give someone else a chance to play and conduct.

The reason I’ve decided to step down is because I find it difficult to be out rehearsing until quite late on a Sunday evening and be able to function on Monday morning. I will continue to support the efforts of the St Mungo Singers, but at the moment, this will need to be from afar.”

We thank Elaine for her friendship and conducting over the 20 years or so – there will always be a place for her among us.

Jane McKenna, our organist of so many years has had difficulty driving at night due to a cataract condition and so has not managed for most of the past year. We hope that her eye condition will continue to improve since her operation and that she will be able to return to share the organ with Jacqueline who stepped in last year with such accomplishment.

Kay and Eric Dick and Bob Hill have had to retire this year for health reasons. We thank them for their friendship, their good company and very many years of singing with us, and hope that Kay and Eric will manage to be with us sometimes. Bob is too frail now but is happily at Nazareth House where for so many years he entertained weekly with his guitar and singing.

Our many enterprises have been enriched by the instrumentalists who combine to make up the Ensemble for special occasions – harps, whistle, violin, flute, clarinets, horn, guitar and keyboards – and who cope generously with the restrictions of space that can affect us.

Events continued:

The Year of Mercy Mass in St Mary’s, Calton
Support for the Children’s Cantata with GCT in Wellington Church.

The Archdiocesan Requiem for Deceased priests and Bishops in St Andrew’s Cathedral

The St Andrew’s Day (vigil) Ecumenical Service in the Tron Church
Support for the ‘Blessing of the Crib’ in George Square
Carols for Peace in the City Chambers

The St Mungo Festival with
the St Mungo Mass in St Mungo’s, Townhead
the Vita Kentigerni in the Mitchell Library
the Festival Service in Glasgow Cathedral

And support for the St Mungo Festival’s Mungo’s Bairns in Wellington Church

The Mass of Our Celtic Roots in St Aloysius, Garnethill

The Choir Annual Requiem in St Leo’s

The RCIA Service in St Andrew’s Cathedral
The St John Ogilvie Vespers in St Aloysius, Garnethill

The Chrism Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral

Glasgow The Welcoming City in The City Chambers

The Ordination of Rev Jim Dean in St Andrew’s Cathedral


We have been honoured to be able to support funerals of relatives of choir members and associates and of the clergy: Tommy Boyle’s brother, Fr James Reilly, Fr Jim Simcox, Agnes McSherry, Pat Scott, John McGinn, Bernadette Corvi, Ian Davison, Joan Campbell, Fr Charles Kane, Ralph Staffieri Nancy Scott, Brian O’Neill, Fr Charlie McFadden

We have also provided recordings for christian including 28 Morning Prayers, 26 Complines and 12 Vespers and many other items.  christian is an ecumenical,  internet-based radio which promotes prayer and news of good things happening in the churches and among  people of faith. It was started by the Music Committee of the Archdiocese and has the support of that committee plus Glasgow Churches Together and ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland).

Events in the year ahead

We were founded to promote music in the liturgy in Glasgow and have been serving the Archdiocese and the parishes for 46 years. In addition, we have supported the work of Glasgow Churches Together which has involved many significant and interesting events both ecumenical and civic.

We have a basic plan for the year but it grows as we are called on. Rehearsing together equips us to renew and polish our repertoire. Thank you all for the efforts you make to attend.

In September 42 of us will visit Barcelona and Monserrat.

Some of us will be able to support the children’s Cantata (The Love of Joseph and Mary) and the cancer sufferers charity ‘Pause for Hope’ about the 16th November, and we hope to support St Agnes’ Lambhill in their annual Requiem Mass.
the St Andrew’s Day celebrations,

the installation of the Homeless Jesus Bench beside St George’s, Tron,

to Carols for Peace,

to the St Mungo Mass (Saturday 13th January) and the Services and events which make up the St Mungo Festival.

the Week of Prayer and the Mass of our Celtic Roots in January,

and in February the Choir Annual Requiem and the RCIA Service (18th February).

In March we look forward to the Ogilvie Vespers and the Archdiocesan Chrism Mass (29th March).

In our after-Easter session we my be able to promote Evening Prayer – and will welcome invitations for other events.

We can thank the Lord for our friendship, the dedicated generosity that is our characteristic and our music.
“Who sings, prays twice”