London choir to support Rome's poor

Ecumenical choir performs English sacred music in Rome.

The Sutton Chorale, an ecumenical choir based in London, will perform English sacred choral music at several churches in Rome in late May, according to Vatican Radio.

The amateur choir, whose members include Christians from various denominations, will perform a concert of sacred music at the Basilica di S. Eustachio, near the Pantheon, on 29 May at 19.30. It is hoped that donations collected at the concert will go towards helping the church in its ongoing mission to care for the poor.

Lunch is offered to around 130 poor people in the nave of the church, every day except Sunday, but plans are in place to convert the building's crypt into a centre providing the poor with medical care, washing facilities and a laundry.

The basilica's rector Don Pietro Siguarni told Vatican Radio that the majority of people presenting for meals are homeless or non-Italian, and the church has special arrangements for Muslims during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. Don Pietro invites people to help fund the meals and the crypt conversion project, neither of which receive public funding, by contacting him at

The Sutton Chorale will also sing at Mass in St Peter’s as well as during an ecumenical service to bid farewell to the outgoing British ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker, at the Oratory of St Francis Xavier del Caravita at 18.00 on 28 May.

The Caravita ceremony will be presided over by Bishop Brian Farrell, from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, with the homily delivered by Revd Tim Macquiban, director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome and pastor of the city's Ponte S. Angelo Methodist Church.