Interested in bringing gospel music into your church?

Are you interested in exploring gospel music, or is your church thinking of starting a gospel choir? Soul Sanctuary has developed a 'toolkit' of resources to help. 

You can choose from a range of resources including gospel singing workshops, an online gospel songbank, backing tracks, visiting us behind-the-scenes at a choir rehearsal, and much more. Browse the toolkit resources

Our choir has been singing gospel music in Catholic, Anglican and other non-Pentecostal services for more than 10 years, and we've learnt a lot during that decade - so we decided it was time for us to put together a set of resources to help other churches explore creating their own home-grown gospel choirs...

why have a gospel choir?

  • Singing gospel music is easier than you might think. You don't have to be able to read music, nor do you need high literacy skills. Gospel music is very accessible (as well as being joyously uplifting!).

  • It's a great way to bring people on the fringes of the congregation closer to the centre of things through their involvement in the gospel choir. "I am new to the St John's congregation and it has been a great way to get to know others" a gospel choir member, church in West London

  • In un-auditioned gospel choirs, there are no barriers to entry, so anyone can be involved in leading worship by singing in the gospel choir even if they don't play a musical instrument.

  • Churches that have a gospel choir can use the choir effectively within structured liturgy (e.g. gospel-style psalms, Sanctus, Gloria) - you can find many of these types of pieces in our gospel songbank.

  • Contemporary gospel choir music provides a spiritually refreshing, exciting worship experience for many people, young and old"I go to Mass all the time; that was the most beautiful ever" - a first-time attendee at one of our gospel choir services

  • In our experience, having a gospel choir singing at services can boost the size of your congregation - it helps bring new people in, and bring people back to church. Gospel music really does have mass appeal.   

  • Having a gospel choir open to all comers can be a powerful way of engaging with non-churchgoing people from your local community.  

What participants are saying

“As the sessions take shape I take moments to glance around the semi-circle to enjoy peoples smiling and happy faces. The collective joy and glow really is tangible and in turn lends itself beautifully to worship and being receptive to God’s presence. I always come away feeling really uplifted and fulfilled and looking forward to the next session.”

Workshop participant

“When I first saw the invitation in the [church] newsletter I questioned whether or not my singing ability would be able to rise to the challenge of gospel singing. A short time in to the workshop I started to relax and my doubts were completely put to ease…”

Workshop participant

"It's great fun and also spiritually uplifting to sing and worship together. I love the harmonies of the gospel/jazz style"

Gospel choir member, Anglican church in West London

 "It's been a good way for us to start to come alongside each other and share fellowship - all ages and abilities/types of personality"

Gospel choir member, Anglican church in West London

"Attending a Soul Sanctuary choir rehearsal was awesome. We were made to feel so very welcome by everyone. It was an incredibly emotional experience, both listening during the rehearsal and taking part in the service afterwards. Uplifted, inspired, excited.....all of these!

My experience so far has been very positive. Alison has been helpful, encouraging and supportive. I am looking forward to our ‘workshops day’ and pray that together we can sow the seeds for an amazing community gospel choir."

Beverly, Leytonstone United Free Church, London

We think this clip from the famous movie Sister Act sums things up rather beautifully...