Diocese of Portsmouth

    Two editions of Songs of Praise recorded at Cathedral

    16 Oct. 2003

    More than 1,000 worshippers will pack Portsmouth Cathedral for two nights of filming for the BBC's Songs of Praise.

    Two separate programmes will be recorded at the cathedral next week (Wed 22 & Thurs 23 Oct) - one to be broadcast on Remembrance Sunday and the other in April next year.

    The first recording, between 7.30pm and 10.30pm next Wednesday (October 22), will be an ecumenical occasion when the cathedral will welcome more than 500 Christians from 36 churches of all denominations around the city.

    Producers want to capture the vibrancy and diversity of worship in our churches and will record the congregation singing three modern worship songs as well as three traditional hymns. It will be the first time in the programme's 40-year history that it has featured songs played by a modern worship band in a cathedral. Professional musicians will form the band and worship leader Noel Tredinnick will conduct the music.

    Members of Roman Catholic, Methodist, Salvation Army, Baptist, Pentecostal, Anglican and independent churches will sing side-by-side during the recording. And more than 160 local Christians will make up an
    inter-denominational choir formed specially for the occasion. The programme will also include testimonies of faith from Portsmouth Christians and will be broadcast next April.

    The edition of Songs of Praise to be broadcast on Remembrance Sunday will be filmed next Thursday (October 23) between 7.30pm and 10.30pm. The 500-strong congregation will include representatives from the army, navy, air force and marines, as well as veterans' organisations and civilians with military links.

    It will include music from the Royal Marines Band and interviews with Christian war veterans and serving military personnel. The programme will be presented by Pam Rhodes.

    Assistant producer Joanna Malton said: "Songs of Praise is a terrific opportunity for Christians to communicate the reality of their faith to a largely unchurched TV audience of around four million people."

    Tickets for both recordings have now been allocated. Admission to both recordings will be ticket-only.