A parish choir wants to restore itself to its former glory with concerts and tours by inviting people to join.

Bolton Parish Church once had a strong choir with tours around the country, but changing times have seen numbers drop, and the choir now stands at 14.

But this is an improvement from before music director Philip O’Connor joined the church a few months ago and was tasked with taking the five members to double digits.

He said: “The old vicar used to say that the music was an integral part of the worship and not an added extra.

“Without music there is no service.

The Bolton News: Bolton Parish Church

“Music and worship have been happening for over 600 years in parish churches and so it would be lovely to carry on with that tradition.”

In the 80s, the choir had many people and would go on tour in Europe and even put out CDs.

Philip wants to restart monthly evening services with the choir as well as put on concerts for the Bolton community.

Recently, the choir took part in services over Christmas, which was hailed a success.

Philip said: “Numbers may not have increased in recent times due to people getting older, getting ill, moving away or just needing a bigger challenge.

“I have just myself turned 30 so I am new and can bring new excitement to it all.

“I would love for it to take an active role in the Bolton community and worship, so that when people come and listen, they are hopefully moved by the singing and put it on the map a bit more.

“The choir is at the heart of the parish church, and we would love to go back to its hay day as it were.”

For the last few months, Philip has been visiting schools and universities to get younger people into the choir and has managed to get some students on board.

The choir is open for anyone to join with a minimum age limit of eight-years-old but no maximum age limit, which means people are free to get in contact with Philip to join the choir.

To enquire about joining the choir, email music@boltonparishchurch.co.uk.