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14 October 2014
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Daily Service

Studio 3E in Broadcasting House when it was newly built

Studio 3E
The first Daily Service was broadcast on Monday 2 January 1928 from a BBC studio in Savoy Hill, London. In 1932 it moved to this studio in newly-built Broadcasting House.

Studio 3E was especially consecrated for religious services and was used by the Daily Service from 1932 until the beginning of the Second World War. It was badly damaged during the Blitz and so, when the Daily Service returned to London after the war, this studio was no longer used. Not visible in this photo are the inlaid sun, clouds and stars on the studio's ceiling.

A broadcast from the Trinity Chapel of St Paul's Church, Bedford

Evacuated to Bedford
Evacuated during the war, first to Bristol and then to Bedford, here's a photograph of the Daily Service being broadcast during the war from the Trinity Chapel of St Paul's Church, Bedford.

The choir is being conducted by the legendary Dr George Thalben-Ball who was involved in the service's music for 29 years.

A broadcast from All Souls, London

Langham Place
In 1932 the Service moved, with the rest of the BBC, to the new Broadcasting House, Langham Place. For many years it was broadcast live from the neighbouring All Souls Church in London.

This is a broadcast from All Souls in 1987 with presenter Ian Rees-Heaver.

Emmanuel Church, a small stone church building surrounded by lawns and trees

Emmanuel Church, Didsbury
In 1993 the Daily Service moved to its current regular home of Emmanuel Church, Didsbury, south Manchester.

The Daily Service Singers, nine men and women wearing ordinary clothes, stand in a semicircle around small microphone stands inside the church.  Christian-themed wall hangings and stained glass windows can be seen in the background

The Daily Service Singers
A service is broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and digital every weekday at 09:45.

The Daily Service Singers gather early each morning to rehearse the music before being joined by the presenter.

Clair Jaquiss smiles from her place at a tiny desk, on which are several microphones, scripts, pens and a clock

Clair Jaquiss is one of around 30 regular Daily Service presenters from right across the country representing many of the UK's Christian denominations.

Sound engineer and producer sitting by the sound desk, with formidable rows of switches and sliders. They are in a small room, watching the service on a monitor in the foreground

Balancing the sound
Each morning, a BBC sound engineer is responsible for providing the technical equipment needed to get the Daily Service on air and for balancing the microphones from a separate room in the church.

A Broadcast Assistant times all the music and speech to make sure we don't hit the 'pips'.

Looking over the shoulder of the sound engineer, who is balancing sound levels using the console in front of him.  A monitor on the desk shows the scene in the main room of the church.  On the far wall, a noticeboard displays a few clippings and cartoons, including one with the caption 'Tell me again how lucky I am to work here'

Following the script
Before the day, each presenter is responsible for writing a script for the service so that everybody knows what is going to happen and what is going to be said.

The producer and sound engineer are able to see the presenter and singers via a monitor and able to talk to the presenter through headphones using the small talkback unit.

A tall stained glass window designed by William Morris, depicting eight saints.  On either side of the window are hangings showing a person with the flame of the Holy Spirit, captioned 'Prayer'

West window
Emmanuel Church was consecrated in 1858 and contains some wonderful stained glass by William Morris dating back to 1889.

Nigel Swinford conducting nine choir members, grouped in a small floorspace in the middle of the church.  Around them are chairs, microphone stands, an overhead projector and a piano

"Angel-voices ever singing"
Nigel Swinford is a rarity among the Daily Service presenters in that often he's also to be found conducting the Daily Service Singers.

Frequently we also welcome visiting choirs to lead our worship.

Greg Morris the organist sitting at the console of a small Conacher organ, with the choir members nearby in the background

"Loud organs, His glory forth tell in deep tone"
Though we regularly hear oboes, flutes, keyboards, trumpets, piano - even bongos - on the Daily Service, reflecting the wide variety of music traditions to be heard in UK churches, it is rare for the organ in Emmanuel Church not to be used at all in a service.

Here, Greg Morris accompanies the Daily Service Singers.

The keys of the Conacher organ, with sheet music in the holder ready to play

The Conacher of Emmanuel
The organ of Emmanuel Church, Didsbury was built by the Conacher Organ Company of Huddersfield.

Though possessing only two manuals (keyboards) and pedals, it is surprisingly versatile and, from the softest strings to the largest reeds, is admirably able to accompany the Daily Service Singers.

Clair Jaquiss, Nigel Swinford conducting the Daily Service Singers, the organ and a technician - ready for broadcast

The Church of the Air
After all the rehearsal and preparation, the Daily Service is once again broadcast via radios and the internet to its many listeners in the UK and abroad.

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