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The Reverend Richard Coles confirmed for Help Musicians UK’s flagship event

Hitmaker-turned-vicar and former Strictly contestant The Reverend Richard Coles is to deliver the sermon at this year’s Festival of St Cecilia, Help Musicans UK’s annual festive fixture. It will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral on November 21st.

Classically trained musician Richard Coles first came to public attention as part of ‘80s synthpop sensation The Communards – releasing the UK’s biggest selling single of 1986, Don't Leave Me This Way.

The event also features a reading from Jane Asher, and an exclusive performance from classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić. Under the direction of Andrew Carwood, Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral, the combined choirs of Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral will perform. The morning’s proceedings will also premiere a specially created anthem by the Queens Music Award winner, Thea Musgrave CBE. The anthem has been generously commissioned by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, and will reflect on HMUK’s 97-year history as it approaches its centenary in 2021.

The Reverend Richard Coles said: “I’m greatly honoured to be invited to preach the sermon at the Festival of St Cecilia for HMUK. I understand it’s the first time a preacher has been let loose at the Festival for some years, and I shall endeavour not to disgrace the honour done to her by the musicians and choristers in her saintly care.”

Every year, a month before Christmas, The Festival of St Cecilia pays homage to the Patron Saint of Music, St Cecilia, and the musicians whose legacies continue to enrich our lives through their music, such as Henry Purcell, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Maria Callas. The event has been run in partnership with HMUK for 72 years.

Source: Help Musicians UK