Lift up your voice

Music for churches that have no musical resources, or where musical resources are limited.

A guest blog by Frances Novillo

The primary instrument of worship is not the organ, nor the guitar, nor drums, but the voice.  It was by God’s voice that creation came into being, not a lightning bolt, nor rushing wind.  Jesus’s birth was heralded by angels singing, and the effect of the Holy Spirit’s advent at Pentecost was to loosen the tongues of the apostles to witness to the Gospel.  Music is an effective witness by our churches to the local community; communal singing attracts attention – it sounds joyful and conveys a message loud and clear.  Other forms of prayer may be nourishing personally and internally, but singing God’s praises is also encouraging to the people sitting and standing around you – yes, even if you think you can’t sing!  The Biblical imperative to sing a new song to the Lord still applies, even if it is more of a joyful noise than a polished performance.

So if you have no musicians at your church to lead or accompany the singing, where do you start?  On Saturday 26th September, Frances Novillo is visiting All Saints’, West Farleigh, ME18 0PD from 10am – 4pm to provide training for anyone (clergy, church wardens, readers, congregation members) who would like to improve music in their church, even if there are no musicians available to help you.  She will build your confidence leading sung prayer and praise, choosing appropriate songs, getting congregational singing going and keeping it going.  Frances will also introduce useful resources (including free and low-cost resources for churches with very limited budgets) such as: To find familiar tunes which fit to new hymn-words, and sheet music Simple Psalms for singing with or without guitar accompaniment Backing tracks for contemporary worship songs New worship songs with free recordings and low cost music Training videos and Sing Something Simple factsheet to start leading congregational singing (under Liturgy and Ministry Resources: The Cantor) Songbank of 100 hymns and songs with free sheet music and recordings

To book your place at the workshop (cost: £10 per person), or find out more, please contact Alan Mitchell, 07985 070734


Frances Novillo is an experienced church musician and trainer with a passion for getting people singing.  She has worked for the Iona Community and Royal School of Church Music, and led worship at Wembley Arena, Greenbelt, in cathedrals, churches and schools of all sizes.


Author: @RoffenWorship

A Slightly Welsh Priest

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