First Sunday of the Month


Experience Choral Evensong in the stunning surroundings of St Mary’s Church, Whitkirk.

The liturgy of Choral Evensong was first written down in 1549 in Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer. Several revisions to the book were made over subsequent years with the definitive version published in 1662. Renowned for the beauty and richness of its language, including Myles Coverdale’s translation of the psalms, the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer remains the official prayer book of the Church of England.

The service is a combination of two of the seven offices (or services) that made up the daily round of monastic prayer, namely the evening offices of Vespers and Compline. Choral Evensong is a beautiful service and its 470-year old choral music tradition gives a powerful sense of connecting the present with the past.

Choral Evensong at St Mary’s Whitkirk takes place on the first Sunday of the month at 6.00pm. The service includes three hymns, two lessons (a reading from the Old Testament and a reading from the New Testament), a sermon and prayers. The choir sing a psalm, an anthem and a choral setting of the evening canticles – Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis.

The canticles are sung to a different music setting each month. The following settings are sung at St Mary’s Whitkirk:

  • Brewer in E♭
  • Dyson in F
  • Harwood in A♭
  • Ilorio (plainsong with fauxbourdons)
  • Moeran in D
  • Morley (plainsong with fauxbourdons)
  • Noble in B minor
  • Stanford in B♭
  • Stanford in C

There are light refreshments in church after Evensong.

All welcome.

Up to date details of all the choral music to be sung at services at St Mary’s may be found on the ‘Choral Services’ page of this website, and also on our page at Choral Evensong.

To find any Choral Evensong service taking place across the British Isles, please click here.