Essentials

You will definitely want to bring:

  • sheet music in a plain black folder
  • smart clothes and shoes for services (see below)
  • comfortable shoes for exploring, shopping, beer-drinking, whatever
  • a day bag in which to carry your smart clothes while you’re not wearing them
  • European plug adapters
  • passport
  • any other travel documentation: insurance, EHIC, etc
  • money

Clothes

This has changed! Men no longer have to wear suits.

For services, everyone will wear straightforward all black: black shirt/blouse/top, black trousers/skirt, and black shoes. Jacket, cardigan, tights, leggings and socks are entirely optional, but must be black.

There are no rules other than those, so feel free to go for whatever you prefer when it comes to skirt or trousers, jewellery, heels, sleeve length, skirt length, tights/leggings/bare legs etc. As long as you are within the general “smart church service” tone, it’s all fine.

When deciding what clothes to pack, the Belgian weather forecast is your friend. Fingers crossed the weather will be warm, but churches, as we know, can be stubbornly cold, so use your best judgement.

We aren’t a formal church choir, so no robes, award medals, badges or academic hoods, please — even if you would normally wear these in your home church.

How much luggage?

Eurostar allows two large cases or bags per person, plus one piece of hand luggage. There’s no weight limit, as long as you can carry and lift your bags yourself. (See the full rules.)

But you should pack light anyway, because once we get to Belgium we travel by train, not coach. You’ll have to take your luggage personally on three different Belgian public trains as well as Eurostar both ways. Plus, you’ll definitely want to leave space for some chocolates and beer on the return trip.

On our trips to Bruges and Ghent, you’ll have free time in the city before the service — so you’ll want to bring a bag which can carry your smart clothes while you are out and about.