Music News

Jools Holland To Hold Virtual Concert For Churches

Pianist, singer, composer and television presenter, Jools Holland OBE will present a one-off virtual concert in aid of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), the national charity caring for historic churches on September 11.

Holland, who is CCT’s Vice President, will be introducing 12 acts who have dedicated performances both past and present to their local church.

The Churches Conservation Trust’s historic churches are used for a wide range of activities including live music and theatre performances. The CCT – with the help of its supporters, church groups and Holland – created this virtual concert fundraiser with the aim of bringing its communities back together as the churches re-open to the public once again.

The impact of COVID-19 meant that CCT was unable to open its churches at the very time of year when most activity takes place, leaving the charity facing an estimated £500k loss of income due to the lockdown. There will be various ways to donate towards the care of these buildings and the Churches Conservation Trust throughout the virtual concert.

The concert will feature performances covering a wide variety of genres. Fans of the violin and classical music can tune into a live recording of John Matthias and Declan Daly’s After the Lockdown (filmed at St Thomas’ church in Bristol on March 3), as well as Ensemble Reza’s performance of the Scherzo from Brahms’s String Sextet No 1, dedicated to St John’s Church in Chichester. Harpist Sharon Lewis’ rendition of Hine e Hine was filmed live at the Church of The Holy Sepulchre in Warminghurst.

Amun-Ramen’s Alive Again – recorded in St John’s Church in Bristol will appeal to jazz enthusiasts, while soft rock fans have performances by Ålesund and Fairport Convention to look forward to. Sometimes folk, sometimes not duo, India Electric Co., who have performed in CCT churches across South East England have also contributed to the virtual concert with Without Lisa – recorded in St George’s Church in Esher.

The evening event will also include performances from singer-songwriters LYEN, Aphrah and Leo & Marianne, a selection of theatrical songs from This Is My Theatre, as well as a classical guitar piece from Mark Hussey.

“The Trust holds a unique and growing collection of 356 historic churches throughout England,” says Holland. “They have been saved because they represent some of the most beautiful examples of architecture and craftsmanship in our country today, whilst also telling the stories of our shared past.

“Because of the lockdown, the Churches Conservation Trust are facing a loss to the tune of half a million pounds. It’s not a very nice tune, and it's not one that I like to hear. Throughout the concert, you will see various ways that you can donate. Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated and will help keep these special buildings alive. Churches have been at the centre of our communities and our lives for hundreds of years. Now, more than ever, we need your support to ensure they continue to survive into the future, for generations to come.”

The virtual concert will be streamed on the Churches Conservation Trust’s Facebook and YouTube at 7.30pm on Friday September 11.