Music in the parish


Welcome to the Music pages of the Church of Our Lady & The English Martyrs, situated in the historic university City of Cambridge. Since the end of the 19th century the praises of God have resounded here, in the daily Prayer of the Church, the celebration of the Sacraments, and most especially the Mass – the Memorial of the Lord, the source and summit of our life. Music plays an important part in our liturgical celebrations as all who come here to worship in faith are invited to join their voices in the offering of the One, True, Sacrifice of praise ‘in the presence of the angels’.

Over the years a rich liturgical and musical tradition has been established. The musical treasury of the Church is preserved and cultivated here in the regular singing of Gregorian chant and polyphony, as well as music from the classical and romantic periods through to the best of the contemporary. What follows is a description of the work of our various choirs and ensembles, as well as a wide range of related activities such as recitals, concerts, recordings and broadcasts.

Choirs and Instrumental

Choral and organ music trust


Junior Choir

Five Alive Music Group

If you would like to become involved in the musical life of our church, then do get in touch: contact us

Office of Sacred Music
Organist and Director of Music
Nigel Kerry
Catholic Rectory
Hills Road
Cambridge, CB2 1JR, England
Tel (direct) +44 (0) 1223 224854
Fax: +44 (0)1223 314843
Choral Director and Assistant Director of Music
Adam Begley
Honorary Assistant Organists
Jeremy Wong
Brian Watkins
Christian Rutherford
Director of the ‘Five Alive’ Music Group
Joe Caprani

Music in the Sacred Liturgy

‘The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as a combination of sacred music and words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.’

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy – Vatican II

‘Music is the expression of ideas greater and more profound than any in the visible world; ideas which centre, indeed, in Him whom Catholicism manifests, who is the seat of all beauty, order and perfection whatever.’

Blessed John Henry Newman of the Oratory

Welcome to the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, the Roman Catholic parish in Cambridge. One of the largest Catholic churches in the United Kingdom, OLEM is home to a vibrant music ministry featuring the mixed-voice Parish Choir, the Latin Schola Cantorum, the Junior Choir, and numerous organ scholars and instrumentalists.

The Choir sing the weekly Sunday morning Solemn Mass at 11:00am, as well as the main Christmas, Holy Week and Easter liturgical celebrations. Established in 1999, the semi-professional choir is made up of current and former university choral scholars, singers who perform regularly with chamber choirs in Cambridge and London, and professionals in the music industry. The repertoire extends from Gregorian chant and polyphony to contemporary Mass settings and motets by composers such as James MacMillan, Colin Mawby, and Malcolm Archer.

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