Friday the 6th of August

...to the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Songs of Praise winners will sing at Wembley

Songs of Praise has announced the winners of the Rugby League Challenge Cup Fans Choir competition.

The 32 individual winners were selected from entries from Rugby League clubs across the UK from Barrow to Warrington and from Coventry to London.

The winners will now enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead a capacity crowd alongside Songs of Praise presenter Aled Jones at Wembley in a stirring rendition of Abide With Me before the Challenge Cup Final live on BBC One on Saturday 27th August.

The group will also appear in a special edition of Songs of Praise after their journey to be broadcast a day after the final.

The choir members won their place in the Rugby League Challenge Cup Fans Choir after demonstrating their passion for the game and their club by sharing their uplifting, exciting and imaginative stories on how they have gone the extra mile to support their club and help the wider community.

The 32 winners each represent a different club that was part of this year’s Challenge Cup and are a mix of male and female supporters with four members of the choir still at school and the oldest being aged 84.

They also have a range of vocal abilities and the task of making sure they deliver a fantastic performance on the day will fall to Aled Jones, who will be leading the choir at Wembley.

Wigan Warriors fan Grace Stanley will be bringing some much needed big game experience as a former cheerleader for Wigan Warriors, while London Broncos fan Niamh Houlan will be happy to have just a short trip to Wembley after travelling over 5,500 miles this season to see her beloved team.

The winners were chosen by a panel of experts that included the West End star Connie Fisher; the Leeds Rhinos and England Rugby League player Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

“There were some fantastic entries for the competition and it was great to hear about the passion and pride regularly demonstrated by Rugby League fans across the UK,” said Mr Jones-Buchanan.

Picture: Songs of Praise presenter Aled Jones with England and Leeds Rhino star and competition judge Jamie Jones-Buchanan.