Church of England’s first Christmas Number One?

Does the Church of England have the X-Factor that could beat off Adele and LadBaby?

For the first time they’ve released a single which could become the Christmas Number 1.

The new setting of Christina Rossetti’s poem, In the Bleak Midwinter, is part of the Church of England’s At the Heart of Christmas campaign.

With music by composer Rebecca Dale (pictured), the song has been recorded by St Martin’s Voices in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in central London.

Rebecca told Classic FM: “I’d been thinking about this a few years ago when I was asked to write a piece for Canterbury Cathedral Girls Choir.

“I had this idea for a melody for it, but it ended up becoming something else. But I always had it in mind that I wanted to come back and revisit that tune for it to become my version of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’.”

“So when I heard the Church of England and Classic FM were looking for a Christmas carol I leaped at the opportunity to finish the image I always had in my mind around this piece.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “Singing carols is a beloved Christmas tradition for so many – so we’re delighted to be sharing this new carol as the national Church of England’s first-ever Christmas single.”

You can stream or download In the Bleak Midwinter here.

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