Code of Conduct

London Sacred Harp aims to create a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive space where we can all enjoy singing together. Building this environment at our singings is everyone’s responsibility.

Please seek consent in your interpersonal interactions and respect the boundaries of others. This helps us maintain the health of our community. For example, not everyone is comfortable with hugs.

Our singing community is made up of many individuals with unique and diverse life experiences. This is something we recognise and celebrate. To help us sing together, please treat fellow singers with kindness and respect. Do your best to look after yourself and those around you.

We will not tolerate abuse or harassment in any form. This includes racism, sexism, ableism, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Do not make inappropriate references to, or comments about, others that make them uncomfortable.

If you witness harassment or abuse, please first check in with the person being harassed about what they would like to do.

Resolving an issue may include: a mediated conversation, being asked to make an apology to an individual or to the group, or ultimately being asked to leave an event or space.

Context and useful information

Respect for tradition: Sacred Harp is a living tradition. We aim to respect this tradition as it evolves to meet the needs of everyone that sings today.

Faith and spirituality: Sacred Harp comes from a Christian tradition. Today, people of all faiths and none sing Sacred Harp. At formal singings prayers will be said in keeping with tradition.

Gender and voice parts: Sacred Harp is sung in four parts: treble, tenor, alto and bass. Voice parts are arranged by pitch, not gender, and you are free to choose which voice part suits you best. Singers often move to sit in different parts, or next to different people, throughout the day.

Emotional well-being: Sacred Harp singing is a powerful form of expression and you may experience strong feelings. You may feel: connectedness, vulnerability, sorrow or joy. Do take time to look after yourself, whether that be by having some time alone or by speaking with a trusted friend.

If you are new to shape note singing, we are delighted that you found your way here! Sacred Harp can be confusing at the start, so don’t hesitate to ask your neighbour for guidance — we have all learned that way. 

On Covid-19

As singing is a high-risk activity for passing respiratory illnesses, including the common cold, the flu, and Covid-19, if you have any symptoms or are feeling unwell we respectfully ask that you do not sing with us that week.

We aim to be considerate of singers who would prefer to sing masked or at a distance, and ask that everyone respect the wishes of singers who would prefer not to hug or touch.

At annual All Day singing events there may be more specific Covid-19 guidelines in place, including testing beforehand, so please check the event information beforehand for details.