The Temple Church Choir consists of sixteen boy choristers and twelve professional choirmen and was founded after the Victorian restoration of the church in 1841 by Dr Edward John Hopkins. It is still considered to be one of the finest choirs in London, a reputation it quickly gained after its founding. Though its main duty is to enhance the worship in the services in the ancient Temple Church, the choir has also been involved with many exciting projects outside its liturgical commitments.  The established musical tradition of the Temple Church has encompassed many distinguished and formidable musicians in church music, and some of the great figures in Anglican Church music have composed and played within its walls. Handel was a visitor to the church to hear the virtuoso blind organist and composer, John Stanley, who was appointed Organist to the Society of the Inner Temple in 1734.

In the nineteenth century, Hopkin’s successor, Sir Henry Walford Davies, further developed the reputation of the church’s music and its choir before becoming organist at St George’s Chapel, Windsor and ultimately Master of the King’s Musick. Sir George Thalben-Ball followed and under his direction the choir attracted such a following that queues for services often spilled out of the Temple into Fleet Street.  Of the many recordings that the choir made during Thalben-Ball’s tenure, the most famous featured the Temple chorister Master Ernest Lough. In 1927, HMV recorded Master Lough singing Mendelssohn’s Hear my Prayer which includes O for the Wings of a Dove. Within six months, the original master had worn out and a replacement – the one still available today – was recorded a year later. Its popularity earned the recording a gold disc for selling over a million copies and made Ernest Lough and the Temple Church a household name. Ernest continued to sing as a choirman once his voice had broken, and two of his three sons, followed in their father’s footsteps and became Temple choristers. Ernest’s Lough’s sons still attend occasional services and events at the church.

In the last twenty-five years, the music of the church has been under the direction of Dr John Birch, Stephen Layton, James Vivian and Roger Sayer.  Thomas Allery became Director of Music in September 2023.

What’s On In Summary

SatJul13
SunJul14
Holy Communion Service 8:30 am 9:00 am

Choral Communion Service 11:15 am 12:15 pm
MonJul15
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
TueJul16
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 2:00 pm

Temple Music Foundation Concert: Come Ye Sons of Art Concert 7:30 pm 9:00 pm
WedJul17
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm

Talk: The story of the Temple Church from the Knights Templar to the present day Talk 11:15 am 12:15 pm

Lunchtime Organ Recital: Louis Carpenter Concert 1:15 pm 1:45 pm

Choral Evensong Service 6:00 pm 7:00 pm
ThuJul18
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm

Talk: The story of the Temple Church from the Knights Templar to the present day Talk 11:15 am 12:15 pm

Holy Communion Service 1:15 pm 1:45 pm
FriJul19
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm

Talk: From the Templars to The Da Vinci Code: 850 years of the Temple Church Talk 1:15 pm 2:00 pm
SatJul20
SunJul21
Holy Communion Service 8:30 am 9:00 am

Choral Communion, Baptism and Confirmation Service 11:15 am 12:30 pm
MonJul22
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
TueJul23
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
WedJul24
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm

Talk: The story of the Temple Church from the Knights Templar to the present day Talk 11:15 am 12:15 pm

Lunchtime Organ Recital: Charles Andrews, Temple Church Concert 1:15 pm 1:45 pm

Choral Evensong Service 6:00 pm 7:00 pm
ThuJul25
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm

Talk: The story of the Temple Church from the Knights Templar to the present day Talk 11:15 am 12:15 pm

Holy Communion Service 1:15 pm 1:45 pm
FriJul26
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm

Talk: From the Templars to The Da Vinci Code: 850 years of the Temple Church Talk 1:15 pm 2:00 pm
SatJul27
Wedding Service 4:00 pm 5:00 pm
SunJul28
Holy Communion Service 8:30 am 9:00 am

Said Communion with Hymns Service 11:15 am 12:15 pm
MonJul29
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
TueJul30
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
WedJul31
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
ThuAug01
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
FriAug02
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
SatAug03
SunAug04
MonAug05
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
TueAug06
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
WedAug07
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
ThuAug08
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm
FriAug09
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 3:00 pm

Church closed for recording 3:00 pm 4:00 pm
SatAug10
SunAug11
MonAug12
Church open for sightseeing 10:00 am 4:00 pm