World Class Ex Cathedra Returns to Sing by Candlelight
20 Nov 2023

One of Britain’s best choirs Ex Cathedra is to return to St Chad's Church on December 1st for a festive performance by candlelight. Picture Credit: Simon King Photography. 

World-class vocal ensemble Ex Cathedra is set to perform ‘Christmas Music by Candlelight’ at St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury on Friday, December 1st and tickets are already selling fast. We're asked to remind audiences of the 7pm start, which is earlier than usual.

These singers are among the best in the UK and thanks to Shropshire Music Trust, they are bringing their spellbinding programme of seasonal favourites, little- known gems and inspirational new music to Shrewsbury! This year's concert includes new works by Ivors Academy Award-winner Liz Dilnot Johnson and pieces by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Lauridson and Roth. 

"In the stillness of a church, where candles glow, comes the luminous sound of a choir in quiet harmony" - Jeffrey Skidmore, conductor

Artistic director Jeffrey Skidmore’s programme of music and readings explores the wonder – and humour – of the season. Highlights of this year’s programme include two works by Liz Dilnot Johnson: Lighten Out Darkness, in which the word ‘love’ is sung in Kurdish, Arabic and Tigrinya (a language spoken in Eritrea), and the newly-composed Generous Winter. The Malvern-based, award-winning composer-in-residence took inspiration for the first piece from her work with young asylum seekers living in Coventry. 

Also in this year’s concerts are works by Ex Cathedra’s other composer-in-residence Alec Roth, marking his 75th birthday year, including the ravishingly beautiful love songs Love is come again and Sometime I sing. Traditional favourites include Away in a Manger, In the bleak midwinter and the Sussex Carol, whilst arrangements from Bach to and Minuit Chrétiens (O holy night) add to an eclectic and compelling programme.

Ex Cathedra in St Paul's Church Birmingham

Jeffrey Skidmore, Artistic Director of Ex Cathedra, said: "In these distracted times we might be forgiven for reconsidering the relevance and importance of Christmas concerts and celebrations. But celebrating peace, love, justice, motherhood, families, giving, goodness, beauty and joy is exactly what the world needs.

"This year’s programme is local and global and includes, as usual, works from ancient times to the 21st century. There are traditional favourites, many new works that have become favourites and new works that will, I’m sure, become favourites.” 

John Moore, Artistic Director of Shropshire Music Trust, said: "We are delighted to welcome back Ex Cathedra, a choir which enjoys an international reputation and leads the choral sector in the fields of performance, learning and wellbeing. 

“Their December concert in St Chad’s is likely to be a sell-out success – it is a wonderful way to start the festive season. Our audience will be able to unwind and enjoy an evening of enchanting music from across the ages. People can expect a seamless blend of seasonal favourites, little-known gems and inspiring new music, to create a deeply atmospheric celebration of this most wonderful time of the year. It should be a fabulous evening of choral music in the magnificent setting of St Chad’s Church."

The concert has been organised by Shropshire Music Trust, which aims to bring a wide range of high quality live music to the county.

Tickets are £26 each or £13 for children and students and are available at or by calling 0333 666 3366.