News Archive

Our latest news and information is regularly published to the home page of our website.
On this archive page, you can look back at all of Caritas' news articles.


24 December 2021

Merry Christmas!

We’re very pleased that we’ve been able to put on concerts this year. The pandemic took hold just before our first concert in 2020 and that meant that we had no public performances at all for 18 months. We managed to get together to produce some video recordings for Christmas 2020 but it was very different to what we’re used to.

With that in mind, performing three times in the latter half of this year has been a joy. The two most recent performances were in the Cardiff Oratory Church and the earlier was at St. Martin’s, Roath during the summer. The total raised at these three concerts was £4,020 and that’s thanks to you, our fantastic supporters!

Our grand total since the choir’s first concert in March 2013 now stands at £52,440 from 43 events. Most importantly, this money has been given to 58 different charities and good causes.

We wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and we hope to see you at one of our concerts in the New Year - the first of which is planned for the 5th March in Llandaff Cathedral, save the date! Here’s ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’, recorded at our recent concert in the Cardiff Oratory Church - 15/12/21

22 December 2021

'In the Bleak Midwinter'

The poem, ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ by Christina Rossetti was originally published under the simple title, ‘A Christmas Carol’. It took just over 30 years for anyone to set it to music and the two famous settings we know today were written within three years of each other! 

The first was written by Gustav Holst in 1906 but we’ve chosen to perform Harold Darke’s 1909 setting. 

He wrote this while he was a student at the Royal College of Music and although it was written at the start of his career, it still remains one of his most popular pieces. In fact, Darke would complain that the popularity of this tune prevented people from performing his other compositions!

This recording features two soloists: Sarah Choi (soprano) and Paul Rothwell (tenor) with David Butler (organ). It was taken at our recent concert in the Cardiff Oratory Church - 15/12/21

22 December 2021

'Once in Royal David's City'

In our opinion, a carol service or concert doesn’t feel complete unless ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ makes an appearance. The text was written by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848. A year later, the English organist Henry John Gauntlett discovered the poem and set it to music. Although he wrote over 1000 hymn tunes, this one, ‘Irby’ is undoubtedly his most famous.

The first verse is usually sung by a treble or soprano soloist and according to the tradition of the choir at King’s College, Cambridge, the soloist is selected not just on the day but in the final moments before the first note is sung… terrifying! Lindsay gave Amber Fudge a little more preparation time for this performance!

This version features the soaring descant written by Sir David Willcocks.

Recording taken from our recent concert at the Cardiff Oratory Church - 15/12/21

21 December 2021

'Bethlehem Down'

Over the next few days we’re going to share some of our favourite pieces from our concert last week.

First is ‘Bethlehem Down’ by 20th Century English composer Peter Warlock (the pseudonym of Philip Arnold Heseltine). He wrote this with his friend, Bruce Blunt, who was a journalist and poet. The pair submitted it to The Daily Telegraph’s annual Christmas carol contest and won. The story is they wrote it to fund a heavy night of drinking on Christmas Eve in 1927!! I’m sure it paid for a few pints!

Unlike Warlock and Blunt, all of the money raised by Caritas goes towards good causes and we’re thrilled that we passed the huge fundraising milestone of £50,000 this year. To date, Caritas has raised a grand total of £52,440. Thank you to each and every one of you who have contributed to this total over the years.

18 December 2021

£1,410 raised for Cardiff Foodbank!

Thank you to everyone who supported our concert last Wednesday. We’re incredibly pleased to annouce that we raised a grand total of £1,410 for Cardiff Foodbank. Please take a look at their facebook page to see for yourself the brilliant work they are doing in the Cardiff community.

We often feature the music of Thomas Hewitt Jones in our concerts and this year was no different. This video is his setting of William Chatterton Dix’s famous words, ‘What Child is This’.

Soloists: Amy Campbell (Soprano), Paul Rothwell (Tenor), Susanna Gray-Jones (Soprano).

9 December 2021

'Gabriel's Message'

Here is the second of our Advent videos for you, ‘Gabriel’s Message’, which we shall be performing in our concert at The Cardiff Oratory on Wednesday evening next week. 

Join us!

6 December 2021

'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel'

We’re returning to The Cardiff Oratory on the 15th December for this year’s Christmas concert. We’ll take you from Advent through to Christmas with some well known favourites as well as a few less familiar pieces. Here’s one of our favourites - ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’.

Have you got your tickets yet?

30 November 2021

Special feature in our upcoming concert

We are delighted to tell you about a special, extra feature in our forthcoming Caritas concert at The Cardiff Oratory on 15th December

Owen Hurrell, a pupil of Caritasian Sue Welch and a chorister at Llandaff Cathedral, has reached the final of the national BBC ‘Chorister of the Year’ competition. This is a superb achievement for Owen, Sue and all involved, so we have invited Owen to come along and sing a piece at the concert, an invitation which he has enthusiastically accepted! 

An additional feature which creates further synergy is that Owen’s father, Bruce, volunteers for the Cardiff Foodbank, the charity which we are supporting at this concert; and it so happens that Bruce’s fellow volunteer at the Foodbank is Caritasian Rhiannon Youssef! Bruce will be receiving guests at the door and saying a few words during the concert about the Foodbank.

If you haven’t yet bought tickets for this concert and would like to join us we would love to see you. Book tickets now using the button below. 

Wednesday 15 December 2021, 7.30 p.m. 
Tickets: £12 / £6 children & students / £15 with a raffle ticket
The Cardiff Oratory - St Alban on the Moors, Swinton Street, Cardiff, CF24 2NT

12 November 2021

Celebrate Christmas with Caritas

Wednesday 15 December 2021, 7.30 p.m. 
Tickets: £12 / £6 children & students / £15 with a raffle ticket
The Cardiff Oratory - St Alban on the Moors, Swinton Street, Cardiff, CF24 2NT

We are delighted to invite you to our concert ‘Christmas with Caritas' in the beautiful setting of The Cardiff Oratory, St Alban-on-the-Moors. Book your tickets now by clicking the button below. 

All of the proceeds will go towards Cardiff Foodbank, a charity which does much wonderful work to support families in need across the city. 

We very much hope to see you at what will be our first Advent / Christmas concert for two years. 

24 October 2021

Caritas reaches £50,000 fundraising mark!

Thank you to all who came to our concert at the Cardiff Oratory on Saturday 23rd October. Together with our special guests, The Daffodil Ensemble, we went on a musical tour of Europe. It was a very special occasion and £1200 was raised for two charities - which brings our fundrasing total over 8 years to the £50,000 mark. In 42 concerts 58 charities have received funding from Caritas - congratulations and thanks to everyone involved! 

13 September 2021

Join us on a musical tour of Europe

While overseas travel may be difficult these days, for one afternoon you can join Caritas on a journey around Europe through a collection of beautiful choral music. Together we shall go to Estonia with Arvo Pärt, Germany with the great George Frederic Handel, Spain with Alonso Lobo, and further. For this special expedition we will be bringing along our extra special guests, The Daffodil String Ensemble, with whom we are thrilled to be in collaboration in the impressive Credo by the Italian composer Antonio Lotti and the stunning Let the bright seraphim by Handel. All money raised will support some excellent charities - more information on this will follow soon.

As a taster for the concert, here is the final section of Arvo Pärt’s beautiful work ’The Deer’s Cry’ which we are looking forward to performing in full; we recorded this extract at the final rehearsal just before our March 2020 concert in St Martin’s Roath which had to be cancelled at short notice due to the first lockdown.

We very much hope to see you on 23rd October!

Saturday 23 October 2021, 2.30 p.m. 
Tickets: £12 or £15 with a raffle ticket
The Cardiff Oratory - St Alban on the Moors, Swinton Street, Cardiff, CF24 2NT

1 July 2021

£1300 raised for Llamau!

Thank you SO much to those who attended our concert on 30 June. For our first concert since December 2019, it was wonderful to be back singing again to a full audience. It was a very special occasion, without doubt, and we were delighted to raise £1,300 for the charity Llamau ( which helps vulnerable people across Wales to gain the skills to live independent and purposeful lives in their communities. 

We’re very grateful to so many people for their help with this concert, including Father Irving, Tim Hill and Andrew Williams of St Martin’s; Natasha and Elinor from Llamau and, of course, every single choir member, as well as David our organist. 

For those who were unable to join us, please enjoy this recording of Byrd's 'Ne irascaris Domine' which we recorded during one of our rehearsals for the concert in St Martin's Church. To hear about our upcoming concerts, sign up for our email list on our Contact page.

13 June 2021

The Return of Caritas

We are so pleased to be holding our first concert since December 2019 in the superb setting and acoustic of St Martin Roath. It will include some fabulous works by William Byrd, Sir Edward Elgar and Arvo Pärt as well as many others. We are aiming to raise £1,000 to support the charity Llamau ( which helps vulnerable people across Wales to gain the skills to live independent and purposeful lives in their communities.

As usual, we will be holding a raffle during the concert for which you can buy tickets in advance, together with your concert tickets. To uphold covid-19 regulations, we won't be selling raffle tickets on the night. The concert will last approximately 75 minutes without an interval. 

Wednesday 30 June 2021
7.45 p.m. - 9.00 p.m.
Tickets: £12 or £15 with a raffle ticket
St Martin's Church, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 3RP

4 June 2021

Peter Wagstaff - Schubert 'An die Musik'

It is a pleasure to bring to you this performance of Schubert’s wonderful song ‘An die Musik’ (‘To music’) performed by Caritasian Peter Wagstaff (tenor) and Christopher Jones (piano). 

Peter has been an integral and invaluable member of the tenor section of Caritas since our inaugural concert in March 2013; in this video he reflects on his time in the choir, and also brings us up to date in respect of his life and work in Bristol where he has been based for the last few years. 

18 May 2021

How Shall I Sing That Majesty (Coe Fen)

We’re delighted to bring you our first Caritas video recording of 2021, the great hymn ‘How shall I sing that majesty’ set to the wonderful tune ‘Coe Fen’.

The author of the text is John Mason a 17th century author, and the tune was composed by Ken Naylor. Naylor was Director of Music at The Leys School in Cambridge which is situated very close to Coe Fen, a small fen on the outskirts of Cambridge. In addition to writing the tune, Naylor also composed the superb descant which is featured here in verse 3. Paul Rothwell, one of our regular tenors in Caritas - and our ‘recording engineer’ for these videos - chose this hymn for his wedding two years ago when some Caritasians sang in the choir for the occasion.

This recording comes from St Martin’s Church in Roath where Caritas is currently rehearsing and recording; as you will hear, there is a superb acoustic and fine organ. For our first session back, we involved 10 singers (a slightly smaller group than our usual 15 or so) plus David Butler who plays the organ in this recording. We hope that you enjoy this recording and look forward to sending out more as the term progresses!

13 April 2021

An Interview with Stephen Power - Countertenor

Stephen Power’s first performance with Caritas was at our five year anniversary concert in Saint German’s, Cardiff in April 2018. Since then he has been a regular countertenor at our concerts. Join Paul as he learns about how Stephen’s musical career began and his current work at Brecon Cathedral.

To see more interviews with members of the choir, head over to the "Our Story" page. 

04 April 2021

Easter Sunday

A very happy Easter to all Friends of Caritas!

Our final offering in this four-day period is the hymn ‘Jesu, lover of my soul’, set to the wonderful tune ‘Aberystwyth’, written by the Welsh composer, Joseph Parry.  

Although this is not an Easter hymn as such, the optimism of the final verse which follows the haunting, Lenten darkness of the first two verses seems to make it a very appropriate offering; I hope that you will agree on hearing it!  The full text of the three verses is below.

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.

The final verse includes a descant which I wrote for the Caritas concert in St Augustine’s church, Penarth, in 2014, the place where Joseph Parry is buried and the venue for the CD recordings from which this performance comes. If you haven’t yet bought our CD ‘A Choral Celebration’ and would like a copy, please go to 'Our CD' page and use the form to order it from us. The cost is £12 including packaging and postage; all proceeds go to one of the charities which we support. 

Click here to listen on Spotify.

03 April 2021

Easter Saturday

Over the next few days leading up to Easter Sunday we are offering to you a Caritas recording on each day. For Easter Saturday we have chosen an attractive arrangement by David Blackwell of the spiritual Steal Away. This arrangement, for SSAATBB, includes a prominent solo for soprano, sung here by Susan Welch; you will also hear David Butler (baritone) in a couple of dramatic phrases during the central section. 

The setting begins and ends in a very gentle style using upper voices only. You may like to note the particularly effective setting of the  text ’the trumpet sounds within-a my soul’ which takes the sopranos to a high B.

Click here to listen on Spotify.

02 April 2021

Good Friday

Over the next few days leading up to Easter Sunday we are offering to you a Caritas recording on each day. For Good Friday we are bringing to you a beautiful motet entitled Caligaverunt oculi mei by the outstanding Spanish 16th century composer, Tomás Luis de Victoria. This motet features on our CD and includes an exquisite piece of writing for a quartet of voices sung here by Helen Pugsley (soprano), Alice Burrows (alto), Paul Rothwell (tenor) and David Butler (baritone). 

Here is an English translation of the Latin text: 
My eyes are darkened by my tears:
For he is far from me that comforted me:
See, O all ye people,
if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.
O all ye that pass by, behold and see
if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.

Click here to listen on Soundcloud.
Click here to listen on Spotify.

01 April 2021

Maundy Thursday

Over the next four days leading up to Easter Sunday we are offering to you a Caritas recording on each day. Today is Maundy Thursday, a day on which we commemorate the Last Supper and the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus. 

An appropriate anthem for this occasion is the wonderful ‘Greater love’ by John Ireland, the full text of which is below. In this recording from our CD, which I hope you will enjoy, the soloists in the central section are Tabitha Rodway (soprano) and Stephen Hamnett (bass). You can listen through the video above, or to listen on Spotify, please follow this link:

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods
drown it.
Love is strong as death.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we,
being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.
Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the
Lord Jesus;
Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you
out of darkness into his marvellous light.
I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service.

If you haven’t yet bought our CD ‘A Choral Celebration’ and would like a copy, please go to 'Our CD' page and use the form to order it from us. The cost is £12 including packaging and postage; all proceeds go to one of the charities which we support. 

21 March 2021

Early Music Day - 21st March

Early Music Day is a celebration of more than a millennium of music, through concerts, events, and happenings taking place simultaneously across Europe. It is held every year on 21st March.

As we can’t provide any live music at present, we want to share an informal recording which we made exactly a year ago at our last rehearsal before lockdown in St Martin’s Church, Roath, Cardiff. 

The recording is of Alonso Lobo’s  beautiful motet ‘Versa est in luctum’, composed in 1598 upon the death of Philip II of Spain. 

With every good wish - and looking forward greatly to that moment when we can all meet up again and hear Caritas again in a live performance!

26 February 2021

Interview with Alice Burrows - Alto

Our most recent interview is with Alice Burrows. Alice has been a member of Caritas since the early days and even though she currently lives in Berlin, she’s still very much involved in the 'behind the scenes' work of the consort and, in particular, the website. 

To see more interviews with members of the choir, head over to the "Our Story" page. 

11 February 2021

Interview with Susanna Gray-Jones - Soprano

Welcome to the first of our interviews of 2021! Join Paul as he speaks to one of Caritas' founder members, Susanna Gray-Jones. Before the interview you can hear Susanna perform Ivor Gurney's beautiful song 'Sleep'.

To see more interviews with members of the choir, head over to the "Our Story" page. 

21 January 2021

Matt Barnaville

We are very sad to have to record the tragic news that one of our early Caritasians, Matt Barnaville, has died in an avalanche whilst skiing in Switzerland.

Caritasian Peter Wagstaff, a close friend of Matt has this to say:

“Matt adored skiing more than anything, and spent most of his life since leaving university in the Alps. It's small consolation to those that loved him, but there's no doubt in my mind (since he said so himself) that a short life of adventure was preferable to a long one of comfortable safety. He certainly brought a long life's worth of joy to the world in a short time, and I know he treasured his time in Caritas.”

Matt sang with Caritas in 2013, taking part in four events that year including our inaugural concert at Ewenny Priory. He was a talented, versatile musician who had a fine light tenor voice which he used to great effect as a soloist and within choirs and ensembles. More recently, he was beginning to fashion what would have surely been a successful career singing pop ballads, usually accompanying himself on the guitar.

Memorable moments with Caritas include his fine rendition of ‘Total Eclipse’ from Handel’s ‘Samson’ at St Michael’s Chapel, Llandaff, (which you can hear below) and his stylish contribution to a quartet in a concert at St German’s Church in June 2013 with Helen Pugsley, Amy Blythe and Stephen Hamnett in Purcell’s Funeral Sentences; it is so poignant, of course, that this piece should stand out in our memory of Matt as a singer.

Matt was a delightful friend and colleague who brought happiness, fun and laughter to everyone who knew him. I personally consider it a great privilege to have known and worked with him.

All of us at Caritas send our warmest wishes and condolences to Matt’s family and friends at this very sad time.

Lindsay Gray, Director, Caritas Consort

Photo: Helen Pugsley and Tabitha Rodway singing with Matt in a Caritas concert at St German’s Church, Cardiff, in June 2013.

30 December 2020

Christmas with Caritas

A huge thank you to everyone who donated to our Christmas with Caritas project. We hope you enjoyed watching the videos as much as we enjoyed making them. We’re thrilled to announce that the grand total raised for the Cardiff branch of Samaritans is £1,300.

It is a tremendous result which has gone beyond our target £1,000 and we know that the money raised will be of immense help to the Cardiff Samaritans and the wonderful work they do.

All of the recordings are available to watch on our Videos page. Here is a message of thanks from Caritas Director, Lindsay Gray:

"I’m very grateful to the many people who have contributed to this important and great cause and to all who have followed Caritas via these recordings through the season Advent into Christmas.

Special thanks go to Emma Gibbins for directing the Consort in my absence, to Stephen Power for the organ accompaniments, to Paul Rothwell for doing the recording, to Sue Welch for her administrative work and to Alice Burrows who has maintained the website. 

But, above all, thank you to the Caritasians who sang on that Saturday afternoon in St German’s; I’m sure I speak for us all in saying that it has been extremely uplifting to see Caritas returning to action in this way. 

With my very best wishes for Christmas and for 2021 when, I am sure, we shall see Caritas returning as soon as all is safe and secure to give concerts once again!"