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Robes for Student Evensong Choir

A project by: Joel Starkie



from 20 donors

This project received pledges on Sun 03 Feb 2019
Support the St Lawrence Student Evensong Choir by helping us acquire new robes


We are raising £1,259.79 (£2203.20) for a complete set of new gowns for the student Evensong choir at St Lawrence Parish Church which we need your help to achieve, to help the choir look more unified, professional and be more inclusive. More than replacing unusable robes, you will be helping the choir play their part in providing a beautiful and peaceful space for spiritual and mental well-being, as well as promoting equality in the church and helping the choir to integrate in a poor parish church community that needs your support to be able to flourish.

Who are we?

We are the student-led choir comprised mainly of students from the University of York who sing evening services at St Lawrence Parish Church every Sunday during term time and are called Caelestis. We started in about May 2017 and have performed a 2018 lunchtime recital and have services recorded and posted to YouTube.

our story

St Lawrence used to regularly have Evensong on Sundays provided by the parish choir about 10 years ago but due to financial struggles from the church (the church roof and heating didn't exist not so long ago, and the church hall was in disarray) the parish choir didn't have many regular music directors and receded into only singing Evensong for special occasions, concentrating more on Sunday morning services.

Two Music students, Joel Starkie and Jonty Ward, wanted an avenue for good choral music via Evensong in York outside of York Minster and found other students who wanted to do the same thing. The church provided the means to do this by agreeing to give access to the church's music library and applied for grants to allow more purchasing of cathedral-esque repertoire as well as giving access to the venue for practice and performance but haven't been able to give any more which is why we need your help.

Since then, the choir have regularly sung at St Lawrence with fantastic music and some very memorable services with lots more to come but the church isn't in a position to expand the financial help to the choir for this project with multiple grant applications being turned down. The church is not centrally funded by the diocese unlike other York churches or by the state so the day-to-day costs are met by generous donation from regulars and friends of the church, most of whom are either students or OAPs so we need you to help us fund this project which will enable us to enchance the overall quality of the cultural experience we offer to the community.

Currently, we wear old, dirty, and broken cassocks for the men with the women being forced to use academic gowns due to the insufficient number of usable cassocks, causing a segregation between the sexes. It may not be the most important thing in the service but it's a statement of support for the concept of the choir and everything we do for the church and the community. We are looking at raising enough money to acquire like-for-like replacements of our current single-breasted cassocks but are aiming for the 2k mark so we can acquire very nice double-breasted cassocks (these are much quicker and easier to put on and look so much smarter!). The minimum target allows for academic gowns (which is currently only worn by the women) to be purchased for all, so at least we would be uniform. With proper choir gowns we will be able to give an image of uniformity, equality and help provide a peaceful environment during an important religious time for people by not being an unwelcome distraction - all of which can happen with your help.

Where will the money go?

  • The minimum target for the fund will be used to acquire:x24 Basic choir gowns
  • If your donation helps us to reach the full target we will be able to acquire:x24 Cassocks (better suits the church environment, better quality, more comfortable, offers full coverage providing less distraction and are more uniform)
  • If we reach more than the target, we will acquire amices to hide collars and donate the surplus into the music foundation of the church for acquiring music for Evensong, helping to support and develop the parish choir, and to establish a junior choir.
  • We can give weekly updates after every Evensong during term and on the church website.
  • x1 Basic choir gown costs £19.99
  • x1 Double-breasted cassock costs £59.99 - We will be eligible for 12.5% discount on this project if we reach the minimum target.


  • If you donate £10 or more you will be thanked in the church's weekly pew sheet.
  • If you donate £15 or more, we will send you a recording of Choral Evensong.
  • If you donate £50 or more then the choir will sing a personal thank you to you!


Images and video

Find us here

http://stlawrenceparishchurch.org.uk/ www.facebook.com/CaelestisConsort/

Follow us to find out how we're doing!

Help us succeed!

  • You don't need to give money to help us succeed but you can assist us by sharing this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence, on your blog, fax..! Share it with everyone you know!
  • This project will really help to strengthen community and help to support and develop an important piece of culture in the city right on the doorstep of the University.
  • And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.