“O come let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95).

We take our response to this Biblical encouragement seriously (as well as joyfully) at St Mary’s.  We know that you welcome the music at our services, and our organist and choirs do appreciate very much your kind words to us when you feel we have produced high quality pieces of music.  It is important that the music achieves what we all seek: that it enhances the worship for you.

St Mary’s also seeks to bring on new talent and we have for a number of years given a scholarship to a young person developing on the organ.  Step by step they contribute more to the music in our Eucharist, accompanying hymns, the communion setting and anthems.

We in the adult choir meet on Wednesday evenings and again on Sunday mornings before the 10am service.  We always have a range of music to learn. It is a great experience and education; and we leave feeling better and full of endorphins!

If you are a bit of a singer we would love you to join us in the adult choir. All new voices are welcome.

Then there is the junior choir.  The numbers go up and down of course and young people will insist on growing too old for it.  But they have a great deal of fun, and they contribute beautiful singing to special services. They practise on Wednesday evenings from 6.15 to 7.15; half their time is spent playing music-related games and the other half learning pieces for services.

If you would like to come and see the choirs in rehearsal, have a word with Judy Gowing [email protected] the choir administrator, or one of the choir.


Junior Choir

The Choir offers children from 7-14 a fantastic opportunity to sing and appreciate music. It meets every Wednesday in term-time from 6.15-7.15pm in church. Half of the time is spent playing music-related games and the other half preparing pieces to sing at Sunday services. The children then sing once a month at the 10am service on a Sunday, often with the Senior Choir, and at occasional Sunday evening services. More details here or you can email The Director of Music for more information.

Senior Choir

The choir leads the congregation singing at the 10am Sunday Parish Eucharist and performs an anthem suitable for the day. We also enhance the worship at special occasions such as Ash Wednesday, The Friends Annual Evensong, the final event of The Barnes Music Festivals, Christmas Carols service and other Choral Evensong services.
Rehearsals take place at 7.30-9.00 pm on Wednesday evenings and at 9.00am on Sunday, before the 10.00 Eucharist. New singers are always welcomed and enthusiastic singers are encouraged to join the choir.
Contact the Director of Music.


Director of Music

Henry Chandler was born in 1992 in London. He received his first choral training as Head Chorister, Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace at the age of 12, recording at Abbey Road Studios, London, performing with the BBC symphony orchestra in a premiere of a work by Peter Maxwell Davies, and performing for Her Majesty the Queen. He later read music at Pembroke College, Oxford University with an organ scholarship, and was the Director of the Pembroke College Chapel Choir. The choir toured Europe extensively during this time, performing in Paris, Berlin and Krakow in major venues such as the British Embassy, Paris. Aside from choral music Henry is a violinist with considerable success. He recently completed his studies at the Royal College of Music, where he was a scholar under the tutelage of Maciej Rakowski. As a soloist, he has appeared in the Sheldonian Theatre after winning Oxford University’s concerto competition. He has played with numerous orchestras and conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Leif Segerstam, Sir Roger Norrington and Daniel Harding, and appeared in a masterclass with Maxim Vengerov in 2013. He has recently played with the European Union Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in London, the Oxford Philomusica on the apprentice scheme offered by the university, and English National Opera, also on an apprenticeship scheme.


Music Scholarships


St Mary’s Church Barnes invites applications for four choral scholarships (SATB) and an organ scholarship. Our choir performs a diverse programme of music under the leadership of our Director of Music and Organist.

The choral scholars play a pivotal role in ensuring that a high standard of choral singing is maintained. Candidates should be in or about to enter the Sixth Form, have a passion for singing, an interest in church music and a desire to broaden their knowledge and experience of the repertoire. An enthusiastic approach to singing is essential. The scholarship provides experience for those preparing for Oxbridge choral scholarships and each year some of our scholars have taken up Oxbridge awards. Scholars receive occasional individual voice lessons and musical coaching and the opportunity to perform their solo repertoire (both voice and instrumental music) during church services. Crucial sight-reading and choral skills issues are regularly and actively addressed and assessed.


The Choral Scholars are required for the Wednesday rehearsal (currently from 19:30 – 21:00) and for a rehearsal at 09.00 and the 10.00 service on Sundays. In addition the Choir sings Choral Evensong once a month and some special services and concerts during the year. It is hoped that the Choral Scholars will seek out creative ways in which to enhance the musical life of St. Mary’s, whether through sacred or secular means. Full attendance throughout term is expected and absences are at the discretion of the Director of Music.

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] to discuss details.


Barnes Music Festival

About the Festival

The Barnes Music Festival is the annual celebration of music making which includes choral, instrumental, orchestral, opera, jazz, photography and film events. It brings together local music groups, community groups and schools to celebrate music making of the highest standard in conjunction with established and emerging stars. It is based at St Mary’s Barnes with around 25 events at different venues across Barnes during a two-week period in March each year. The Festival Committee comprises people from music, church and community groups led by Chairman Andrew Summers and Artistic Director, James Day.
The inaugural Festival took place in 2013 with the theme Holst & the English Tradition celebrating the centenary of Gustav Holst living in Barnes.  The Festival returned in 2014 with an extended two-week programme celebrating Three Greats: Elgar, Delius, Holst & the English Tradition marking the 80th anniversary of these landmark composers.  For 2015 the Festival took as its theme Magna Carta, Music & Freedom celebrated the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and its links with Barnes. For 2016, the theme was Handel & Composers of Barnes celebrating the rich variety of composers who have lived and worked in Barnes from Handel to Holst, Howells to Howard Goodall and Roxanna Panufnik.
The 2017 Festival runs from 11th to 26th March 2017 with the theme Music & Place. Full details are at with tickets available online or from Chestertons offices in Barnes, North Barnes and East Sheen.

Composers of Barnes

Copies of the book Composers of Barnes – The Flow of Inspiration by Eleanor Oldroyd are available from Barnes Bookshop or by mail order.