Parish priest calls for Dungannon choirs to unite and raise the roof for national TV show

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A parish priest has invited the different voices of Dungannon to unite and raise the roof of a local church for a spectacular recording of Songs of Praise.

Dungannon’s long record of church music and praise is set for national TV coverage when St Patrick’s Church in the heart of the town hosts the popular BBC programme on Thursday September 28.

The cornerstone of Sunday religious broadcasting will be also be out and about in Dungannon searching for good news stories and capturing a snapshot of local life.

The interior of the dressed sandstone church, completed in 1883, will be screened into the nation’s living rooms during the Autumn schedule.

Parish Priest Father Kevin Donaghy admitted that the call from the BBC came like a bolt out of the blue, and at first, he was concerned that the short notice might not give the church choir time to warm up their vocal chords.

“They approached us rather than us contacting them”, he said. “They had done their research and regarded St Patrick’s as a beautiful church. They are also keen to visit the town and meet local people.”

The production team have spoken to Father Donaghy and assured him that the recording will run smoothly, even though it is a quick turnover with another recording in St Macartin’s Enniskillen, the previous evening.

He said he hoped the church will be full to the rafters with choristers of all faiths, and that the show will be a celebration of the songs and praise of the entire Dungannon community.

“We will be inviting choirs and individuals from other churches in the town. We want it to be an inter-denominational event. Everyone knows about Songs of Praise, and it will be a great boost for the town.

“The BBC have recently enhanced the format of the programme, and they are keen to include interviews and recordings of local good news stories. We’re honoured to be picked, and look forward to welcoming the BBC team.”