Music at St Peter's

Music at St. Peter's, London Docks

In 1877, Father Charles Lowder (Founder of St Peter's) wrote: “Choral services… music… these accessories to worship are the rightful claim of the clergy and people of such a church as St. Peter’s”. We couldn’t agree more.

St. Peter's London Docks is actively refreshing and renewing its musical life. Music at the Parish Mass is ably led by the church's three choirs, and a music list detailing this month's provision can be seen below.

We are committed to the beauty and prayerfulness of the Church's choral heritage and the possibilities that this brings to worship and mission, while maintaining a diet of congregational singing that hymnody, plainsong and rotating mass settings of various styles.

We welcome singers of all ages to join us on this journey: please contact our Director of Music, Jonathan Pease, on to learn more.

St. Peter's Schola

St. Peter’s Schola is the focal point of Parish music-making, leading music at the Mass around three times per month. The choir enriches worship by singing motets at the Gradual and Communion, as well as leading hymns, psalms, antiphons and settings of the Mass. The choir occasionally works on choral settings of the Mass, recently including Ireland's setting in C, Casciolini's setting in G and Gounod's setting for upper voices. Although unauditioned, the Schola punches well above its weight and tackles a wide range of music from the Anglican and Latin traditions.

The Schola rehearses on Thursday evenings and is a friendly, dedicated group drawn primarily from congregation members and local residents. Music-reading ability is very helpful, but online resources are always made available for people who prefer to prepare in advance.

St. Peter’s Choristers

Child choristers were a fixture of East End churches for many decades, historically providing boys from some of London’s poorest communities with a free musical education. St. Peter’s is proud to maintain this tradition today and has just re-founded its chorister school, open to girls and boys from Years 3 to 6.

St. Peter’s Choristers lead music at the Parish Mass once per month, fulfilling all the responsibilities of an adult choir. They sometimes sing independently and sometimes alongside adult singers.

The Choristers rehearse on Monday evenings during term-time from 5.00-6.30pm. Choristers develop singing, listening and music-reading skills, and grow in maturity through the responsibility of leading worship. Membership is not restricted to Parishioners or pupils at St. Peter's School: all local children are warmly welcomed.

St. Peter’s Consort

The St. Peter’s Consort is a small chamber choir which convenes once per month to sing a full choral setting of the Mass and a motet. The choir has a clear focus on unaccompanied singing, but draws on a wide variety of styles, including Renaissance masses, Cathedral-style BCP settings and more modern settings.

Although the majority of music-making at St. Peter's is done "in-house", this choir brings to Wapping a monthly musical offering of the kind one might more commonly find in a central London church.

The choir rehearses only for 40 minutes prior to a given service, and as such membership is restricted to excellent sight-singers.

Our Director of Music

Jonathan Pease graduated with an MA in Music from Cambridge University in 2010 before undertaking further study as a pianist with Graham Fitch. As an accompanist and repetiteur, he has worked with groups including the Royal Opera House, Garsington Opera, Glyndebourne Youth Opera, Spitalfields Music, Opera Holland Park and Chelsea Opera Group. Jonathan performs regularly with oboist Nicola Hands, in venues including St. James Piccadilly, St. Martin in the Fields, Waltham Abbey, the Schott Recital Rooms and Winchester, Bury and Peterborough Cathedrals; and the duo have just released the premiere recording of Paul Patterson's Phoenix Sonata. He has enjoyed residencies aboard HMS Arcadia with saxophonist Alastair Penman. Jonathan has musically directed from the piano La Traviata (2018) and The Barber of Seville (2019) for Devon Opera; and Suor Angelica and operettas by Gilbert and Sullivan (2018) for Opera Anywhere. Fiercely committed to music-making in his native east London, he conducts the semi-professional East London Evensong Choir and Aldersbrook Community Choir. Jonathan is also a prolific composer and librettist, with a particular interest in opera and church music, and a proud houseboat-dweller.