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 the present Organist & Director of Music, Roger Sayer.  

What’s On In Summary

FriDec09
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm
SatDec10
SunDec11
Holy Communion Service 8:30 am9:00 am

Temple Church Carol Service Service 11:15 am12:15 pm
MonDec12
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am1:00 pm

TueDec13
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm

Carols for Pro Bono Special Event 6:15 pm7:30 pm
WedDec14
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am12:30 pm
ThuDec15
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm

Holy Communion Service 1:15 pm1:45 pm

Temple Church Carol Service Service 6:00 pm7:00 pm
FriDec16
Church Open for sightseeing 2:00 pm3:00 pm
SatDec17
SunDec18
Holy Communion Service 8:30 am9:00 am

Temple Church Carol Service Service 11:15 am12:15 pm
MonDec19
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm
TueDec20
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm
WedDec21
ThuDec22
FriDec23
Church Closed for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm
SatDec24
Wedding Service 1:00 pm2:00 pm

Choral Communion for Christmas Eve Service 11:15 pm12:15 am
SunDec25
Choral Mattins for Christmas Day Service 11:15 am12:15 pm
MonDec26
TueDec27
WedDec28
ThuDec29
FriDec30
SatDec31
SunJan01
Holy Communion Service 8:30 am9:00 am
MonJan02
TueJan03
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm
WedJan04
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm
ThuJan05
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm
FriJan06
Church Open for sightseeing 10:00 am4:00 pm
SatJan07
SunJan08
Holy Communion Service 8:30 am9:00 am