BBC Radio 3 is to broadcast Choral Evensong live on Wednesdays at 4.00pm from mid-September 2008, with a repeat on Sunday afternoon. It is currently relayed live on Sundays at 4.00pm.
Roger Wright, Controller, Radio 3, said: “We are pleased to be able to include two broadcasts of Choral Evensong from September.
“Scheduling it on Sundays has brought new listeners to the live broadcasts, though others have missed it on Wednesday afternoons.Airing it live on Wednesday and repeating it on Sunday will offer audiences a choice for this ever-popular part of the Radio 3 schedule.”
During its long broadcast history, Choral Evensong has been heard on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. At first the service lasted only 30 minutes; it has also been broadcast at 45 and 50 minutes. For a short while in 1970 the service was broadcast monthly not weekly.
The broadcast was originally transmitted on the National Programme, and then after the war successively on the Home Service, Radio 4 and Radio 3, returning to Radio 4 for some years in the late Seventies.
Nowadays the popular Listen Again facility on the Radio 3 website – bbc.co.uk/radio3 – means that the weekly broadcast can be heard at any time for seven days after transmission.
This Sunday’s broadcast comes from St Paul’s Cathedral.Forthcoming highlights include a live Ash Wednesday service from St Alban’s Cathedral; Palm Sunday from St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle; Easter Sunday from Winchester Cathedral and from St Paul’s Outside the Walls, Rome, on 6 April.
On some occasions the Sunday broadcast will not be a direct repeat of the Wednesday programme, for example, Easter Day.