March 2017 letter to the Parish …


from Jill Knight, our Director of Music, on the subject of Choral Scholarships…

At St. Eth’s we are committed to nurturing a love of music and singing in children of all ages and backgrounds. Children love singing, and there is nothing better than to be doing it in a supportive environment surrounded by friends and alongside the experience of our RSCM affiliated choir (Royal School of Church Music).

Our junior choir Y.E.S! (Young Eth’s Singers) has now reached its third anniversary and as we have younger members joining, some of our founder members are moving onto senior schools.  These young people often have great demands on their time. To encourage them to continue to sing and worship with us at St. Eth’s, we are looking to establish a Choral Scholarship Fund which would provide for and support, through training and    resources, an annual award for up to four Senior Choristers, aged between 13 and 18 years of age. A Choral Scholar would receive an award of £200 per annum, to be put towards a musical enterprise of the scholar’s choosing. For example, this could be for music lessons, summer schools or courses or recording projects.

As an Eth’s Choral Scholar, a young person would be expected to lead vocally within their  section and demonstrate commitment and musicianship, attending a majority of rehearsals and services throughout the year. He/she would also be expected to assist with Y.E.S! rehearsals, acting as a mentor for some of the younger choristers and setting an example both in his/her vocal and overall musical development, and in exploration and understanding of the Christian faith. A Choral Scholarship is a wonderful way to gain experience of singing regularly at a high standard in a church choir that covers a large and varied repertoire. It is also excellent preparation for any young musician who may wish to pursue music further, and de-velop a role of responsibility within a caring, Christian community. Our choral scholars would also be expected to work towards their RSCM Dean’s and Bishop’s Chorister awards.

Auditions, open to all RSCM dark blue or red ribbon holders, would be held annually in June/July for the coming academic year starting in September. They will involve singing a prepared piece, some sight-reading and aural tests and a discussion with the Director of Music and Rector about commitment and responsibilities to Y.E.S!, the whole choir, and their life as a young Christian within our community at St. Eth’s. Choral Scholarships would be awarded for a period of one year. However, all qualifying candidates would be welcome to apply again, whether they have already held a scholarship or not.

To supplement the parish funding, I am inviting you, the congregation and wider community of the parish of St. Etheldreda’s, to contribute to the Choral Scholarship Fund, thus inspiring, encouraging and securing the future of choral music at St. Eth’s for many generations to come. Your contribution could be a one-off gift or a re-gular monthly donation. We would also welcome the gift of a choral endowment named specifically after an individual benefactor (possibly in memory of someone); this could be made annually for a specified number of years, for a minimum contribution of £250 p.a

How does a young person benefit from being a part of Y.E.S! ?

Our young singers are taught how to sing well together and use their voices correctly to achieve a good quality sound. They receive free musical training and vocal coaching. There is also the opportunity to train for the RSCM award scheme, and eventually become a Dean’s or Bishop’s Chorister. Y.E.S! is sometimes requested to sing at weddings in the church, for which each singer receives a small payment out of the wedding fees based on their experience and commitment.

There is no audition – all children can sing. The most important asset is commitment and we will then help the young singer to achieve his/her full potential within the team. If you know of anyone who may be interested in joining us, please contact me. You can find further information about our music at St. Etheldreda’s on the church website at



The churches of St Etheldreda and St Luke in Hatfield are steeped in English history, but they are not museums, they are meeting places for thriving Christian communities.  The congregations range from babes in arms to grandparents and we aim to cater for all needs.

If you like a quiet traditional service, then why not come to the 8am service at St Eth’s?  The 9.30am at St Eth’s is also traditional, but is accompanied by magnificent and innovative hymns and musical pieces as directed by our Director of Music.  We also have an ’all age’ service on the third Sunday of the month where we are joined for the whole service by the children of our Sunday School. 

Those that get up later on a Sunday might prefer to attend the 11.30am service at St Luke’s, a smaller, but very welcoming and friendly congregation.

Sunday school meets in our church hall at 9.20am in term time offering a small Christian lesson for the children, followed by a creative activity.  The class then join the main congregation at St Eth’s for Holy Communion.

We are a friendly all inclusive Parish and also offer a range of study classes and social events, but most importantly a very warm Christian welcome to all.

Why not sign up to our monthly magazine, Refocused, and keep in touch with what we are doing?  Email: 


A virtual tour of St Etheldreda’s Church

Travel up inside our clock tower (see above photo) through the bell ringers chamber, past our carrillon above the bell ringers, and enjoy a panoramic view from the top of the tower.  From the highest point in Hatfield you will see for miles:  east, west, south and north.  Look out for the numbers 1,2,3,4,5 in the bottom right hand side of the screen which allow you to step up to and through the various levels of the tower, side swipe at any level for 360 degree views.  You can join the tour here.



Pilgrim Course

The Rectory 7.30pm-9.30pm

Thursday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th March

For all who would like to find out more about the Christian message—everyone welcome.  More details from:
Fr. Darren 01707 256638


If you are interested in supporting our young choristers through a contribution to the Y.E.S! Choral Scholarship Fund please speak to me, our Rector Darren or our Treasurer, Mark Knight. Thank you for your support and encouragement for all our music here at St. Etheldreda’s.  Jill Knight, Director of Music


Tel. 01707 894949