[Episcopal News Service] The parish of Christ Church Christiana Hundred, just outside of Wilmington, Delaware, puts music to work in service of mission. With roots in a plot of land donated in 1817 by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, founder of the DuPont Co., the church has had an endowed choral music program for nearly 100 years. The parish sees the music program as “a way to bring people into relationship with God in Jesus Christ,” according to the Rev. Ruth Lawson Kirk, rector.
The most recent addition to that evangelism effort is the Letty Downs Musician in Residence program. Downs was a lifelong member of Christ Church who championed the music program and her family endowed the residency program in her name to ensure its continuance. John Rutter, renowned British composer, arranger and conductor, recently inaugurated the endowed program. It will continue to bring a major figure in Anglican music to Christ Church each year to teach, rehearse and perform with the parish’s choir.