For the first time in 18 months the BBC TV programme, Songs of Praise will be recording a congregation and it’s chosen Swanage as it’s location.
The filming will take place outdoors at Prince Albert Gardens overlooking Swanage Bay from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm on Thursday 29th July 2021 and people in Swanage are being invited to take part and apply for tickets.
The programme will be presented by the well known and popular singer, Aled Jones. This will be a return trip for Aled, who visited Swanage in 2011 when he performed a concert at St Mary’s Church on Church Hill.
Prince Albert Gardens in Swanage
“First outside broadcast for such a long time”
The Director of Music at St Mary’s Simon Lole has worked extensively with Aled Jones before and is also used to working with the Songs of Praise production team. He’ll be the musical director for this recording in Swanage. He said:
“This is a big thing for the production team – the first outside broadcast for such a long time and it would be really great if Swanage really turns out and supports the crew. They’ll be 10 well known hymns to sing, a brass group and backing singers.
“I’ve nagged them a bit in the past about coming to Swanage, but when they rang me up and asked if I was free, I was as surprised as anyone. It’s such a great location – I’m sure it’s going to be amazing!”
“It’s a relief and a celebration”
The rector of Swanage’s St Mary’s Church John Mann added:
“After months of no congregational singing, it’s a relief and a celebration to be able to sing hymns again. Although there’s a need to be cautious as we come out of lockdown and also be concerned for those who are still feeling vulnerable, there is joy and excitement at the prospect – a great release!”
The filming for the BBC is undertaken by the TV production company, Avanti Media. A spokesperson said:
“You are warmly invited to a special outdoor Songs of Praise music recording at Swanage Amphitheatre this July featuring Aled Jones.
“All are welcome and we are especially keen for enthusiastic singers to join us and lead the viewers at home in the singing.
“Please feel free to invite along any other congregations or choirs who might want to get involved.”
The production company says that the event will only be going ahead in accordance with government Covid guidance.
“A very special and memorable event”
Visitor Service Manager for Swanage Town Council, Culvin Milmer said:
“We are so excited. Songs of Praise is an institution and to be part of this special event on the evening of 29th July at the beautiful Prince Albert Gardens in Swanage, will be one that many people will want to be involved in.
“It will be a very special and memorable event for our town and I’m certainly looking forward to it!”
Fabulous sunsets are sometimes able to be viewed from Prince Albert Gardens
Apply for tickets
To book a space, please send an email with the subject header ‘Songs of Praise Swanage’ to SOPcongregations@avantimedia.tv
Include your name, address, contact phone number and the number of people attending.
Alternatively, phone 0161 873 7073 and leave a message.