St Stephen's Choir

Church choir: No Sunday service if England make the final

St Stephen’s church choir say they will miss their regular Sunday Evensong if England triumph against Croatia in tonight’s World Cup semi-final.

The choir regularly sing two services every Sunday, but organist and choir master Steve Barker says if Gareth Southgate’s boys make the final there will be no church singing on Sunday afternoon.

The music director said: “we have to get permission from the vicar, but this could be the first time England get to the final in my lifetime. I can’t ask the choir to miss it

“I’m sure God and the congregation will understand!”

St Stephen’s church is one of the only churches in Canterbury other than the cathedral to hold regular sung services. Eucharist is held at 10:30am every Sunday morning. Evensong would usually begin at 6pm.

The final kick-off is at 4pm. A decisive victory either way would see the match draw to a close around 5:50pm, but if the game goes into extra time the result may not be known until well after the service would usually start.

Mr Barker added: “just because we miss church, doesn’t mean we won’t be praying.

“If we go to penalties I can imagine half of Canterbury will be trying to get hold of the Almighty.”

On Tuesday night France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach the final where they will meet either England or Croatia.

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