Stunning Voices Wow City


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Review: The voices of the Monastic Choir, St Elisabeth Convent – St Cross Hospital, Winchester

By Dilyara Gover

If you live in Winchester or visit our blessed city especially around Christmas, you may well have come to the Christmas Market in the Cathedral Close and visited a colourful stall there that’s run by Belorussians.

You can’t exactly miss it as it looks quite unusual and has all sorts of Russian souvenirs.

This little stall is just the tip of the iceberg of something full of love and affection. This ‘something’ is Saint Elisabeth Convent from Minsk in Belorussia.

Another activity the sisters of the convent partake in is a beautiful choir which I saw at St Cross Hospital here in Winchester. The Monastic choir is currently touring Great Britain with a series of charitable concerts in Bristol, Cardiff, Bath, Poole, Winchester, Basingstoke and London.

The songs are Liturgical worship chants and well known folk songs, like The Cossack’s Parable (Oy, to ne vecher), Shchedrik (Carol of the Bells) and Kupalinka.


The church was full, the sisters’ voices were powerful in their softness, and were like little springs under the arches of St. Cross Church. We could show you a video, but no video could do justice to the unique beauty of a live performance!

After the concert we could enjoy all those treasures from The Christmas Market and I made some purchases as well… tiny white fluffy sheep for my Christmas tree, an embroidered linen bag for lavender and a little masterpiece – a hand painted wooden brooch.


These pleasant things will make dark winter days brighter – and the proceeds from the concert will support the Convent’s social work helping mentally and physically challenged children and adults, people suffering from drug and alcohol addictions, the homeless and ex-prisoners.

I was glad to see so many people both English and Russians have come to see and feel this little part of the great Slavic culture – thank you Saint Cross Hospital for making it possible.

And thank you dear sisters, for keeping the culture alive.