Singing to return to Chichester Cathedral

The lay vicars of Chichester Cathedral will return to singing services from September 13.

Lay Vicars, Chichester Cathedral - Art Lewry
Lay Vicars, Chichester Cathedral - Art Lewry

Earlier this year, the Cathedral’s choir, which is made up of six lay (adult) vicars and 14 (boy) choristers, were silenced as the country went into lockdown.

However, following guidance on singing issued by the Government and Church of England, the lay vicars will return to sing their first service at 9.30am this Sunday.

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They will also sing at the installation of the bishops of Lewes and Horsham, taking place at 2 and 3.30pm which will be streamed online.

Head organist & master of the choristers Charles Harrison said: “The choir forms a vital part of the Cathedral’s life of prayer and worship and plays a central role in its ministry to the local community, the Diocese of Chichester and the wider world.

“The lay vicars have already begun preparing for the resumption of choral services. We gathered in the Cathedral as the evening sun streamed through the west window and sang together for the first time since March.

“It was a joyful and moving occasion and we look forward to sharing our music-making again with the Cathedral community.”

“The Cathedral’s choir has earned a reputation for high standards of performance and musical detail, with a distinctive style that fits the intimate setting and lovely acoustics of a beautiful Norman Cathedral.”

The resumption of singing comes as normality returns in other ways too. Last week the bells of Chichester Cathedral started to ring again, from its separate tower or campanile.

As the country went into lockdown earlier this year the Cathedral’s automatic electronic bells continued to chime, but the bells of the Tower were silenced.

The ringers have now resumed.