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The Conversion Job

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THE CONVERSION JOB (for audio samples of all the songs, please go to YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR48iaSCnLE

The lighthearted story of Augustine's mission to bring Christianity to England. How will the monks cope with the English weather? What will Queen Bertha make of forty Italian men dressed in very strange clothes? Will her husband, tree-worshipping King Ethelbert, allow them to stay?

The story begins in AD 583 in a market place in Rome where Gregory – soon to be Pope – was horrified to see a group of English slaves for sale. He took pity on them, freed them and converted them to Christianity. A few years later, when he was Pope, he asked the monk Augustine to make a missionary journey to England.
Augustine, with some reservations, agreed to Gregory's request and soon set off with forty eager volunteer helpers. Their journey was so long and difficult Augustine's followers, worried about their likely reception in England, gradually became disheartened and afraid and wanted to return to Rome. Gregory, however, urged them to carry on.

In the Spring of 597 they arrived at the coast of Kent and landed on Thanet Isle. There they waited, hoping that Ethelbert, the King of Kent, would allow them to continue. To their surprise, Ethelbert and his wife, Bertha, came to meet them and listened intently to every word Augustine had to say.

Whilst not prepared to commit himself to the new faith, Ethelbert did let them stay, giving them a home and allowing them to preach. In just a few months, the monks made so many converts that on Christmas day 597, ten thousand people, including the King, were baptised. The monks went on to establish a cathedral and a monastery in Canterbury and by the time Augustine died, Christianity was firmly established in England.

We know about this great conversion because of the writings of The Venerable Bede (673-735). He spent his life reading, studying, praying and writing in the Monastery of St Paul in Jarrow, Northumberland. He knew the details extremely well and is just the right person to tell us 'this wonderful story of friendship and fear, courage and glory'.


The Conversion Job is a humorous re-telling of Bede's story and revolves around the following main characters:
Speaking Only: The Venerable Bede (Narrator)
Acting/Singing: Gregory, Augustine, The Monks
Acting Only: Ethelbert, The King of Kent and Bertha, The Queen of Kent

The chorus can, if necessary, adopt a variety of roles, including the Market People, the Slave Sellers and their Slaves, the Sailors, the People of Kent and the Courtiers.


The première of The Conversion Job involved over 300 children and the original school week-long production proved so popular that it was restaged later to an audience of 2000 in one of England's largest concert halls! Much of the dramatic action was mimed whilst the school's large choir (in Greek Chorus style) performed the songs.

Other performances, presented in a variety of creative ways, have since been given by much smaller groups with equal success. Feel free to adapt the work to suit the dramatic, musical and numerical resources of your performers. All vocal harmony parts (SS/SA) are optional and in some of the songs, verses may be omitted at the director's discretion.

Whatever way you decide to present the The Conversion Job, Peter and Anne hope that you and your cast have as much fun performing it as they themselves have had in writing it!

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR48iaSCnLE


  • 1. Gregory In The Market Place
  • 10. We Want To Go Home!
  • 11. La France
  • 12. Heave Ho!
  • 13. Prayer For Guidance 2
  • 14. Ethelbert and Bertha 1
  • 15. Turn To God
  • 16. Ethelbert and Bertha 2
  • 17. Life In Britain
  • 18. O Clap Your Hands! (Finale)
  • 19. Canterbury March
  • 2. Angles For Sale!
  • 3. Do As I Please
  • 4. Those Weary Slaves
  • 5. How Can I Go?
  • 6. Can We Come Too?
  • 7. Prayer For Guidance 1
  • 8. Alpine Journey
  • 9. The People Of Britain

Samples available

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Cat No. RCM126
Supplier Code RCM126
Price £12.50
ComposerPeter Rose
LyricistAnne Conlon
CategoriesVoice & Piano
Vocal Score
Ssa Female Voices
Church (unison Or 2 Part)
Choir With Optional Harmony
Musical Theatre
Choral (upper Voices)
PublisherRose Conlon Music
ISMN 979-0-708107-26-2
EAN-13 9790708107262
Weight 250 grams
Published 11th April 2016
Availability 368 in stock
See also...
RCM2CD  The Conversion Job (Backing Tracks) (CD)
RCM89MD  The Conversion Job (mp3 Backing Tracks) [AUDIO DOWNLOAD] (CD)
RCM2059PD  The Conversion Job Performance Package (PDF) [PDF DOWNLOAD] (CHORAL SONGS (UNISON OR 2 PART))