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8:00am Eucharist
8:30am Doors open for sightseeing
12:30pm Eucharist
4:00pm Last entry for sightseeing
5:00pm Choral Evensong

Choristers prepare for their big Christmas sing

For most people, Christmas is a time for unwinding and relaxation, but for the boy Choristers of St Paul's, the hard work is just beginning.

Throughout Advent and Christmas, the Cathedral hosts many special services and concerts at which the boys sing, adding to their already busy schedule of seven services a week.

Here are some facts about our Choristers:

  • St Paul’s Cathedral choir is currently made up of 28 full choristers and 4 probationers, all of whom board at the St Paul’s Cathedral School.
  • The youngest chorister is 7 and the oldest, 13.
  • The regular schedule for the Choristers is a busy one: rehearsals before and after school on weekdays (excepting Thursday, which is their ‘dumb day’) and two rehearsals on a Saturday; they sing Evensong on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays plus Mattins and Eucharist on Sunday morning.
  • This December, the Choristers will sing to more than 20,000 people in St Paul’s.
  • On Christmas Eve, the Choristers will sing a carol service at 4pm, followed by the traditional Midnight Eucharist at 11.30pm. They will then sing at 11am on Christmas morning before lunch at the school and their last service of the year at 3.15pm (Festal Evensong).
  • Choristers come from all over the country. At present, the one whose home is furthest from St Paul’s is a boy from Yorkshire.
  • Notable former St Paul’s Choristers include England Test cricket captain Alistair Cook; Actor Simon Russell Beale; and Peter Auty, who sang the perennial Christmas favourite Walking in the Air, in the animated film The Snowman, broadcast for the first time on Boxing Day 30 years ago in 1982.
  • There has been a choir of boys and gentlemen at St Paul's Cathedral for over nine centuries. The earliest records date from 1127, when the Bishop of London, Richard de Belmeis, founded what was the first choir school and made provision for 'almonry' boys to serve the Cathedral.
  • Outside regular duties in the cathedral the Choir frequently gives concerts and broadcasts and has many notable recordings to its credit.
  • Choristers receive much generous support from a number of City of London Livery Companies, which helps cover tuition and boarding costs.
  • The St Paul’s Cathedral Chorister Trust does much work to fundraise for the Choristers. More information on this, and how to support St Paul’s Choristers, as well as information about a grand Gala Dinner on the Cathedral floor in February 2013, can be found at www.stpauls.co.uk/Support-St-Pauls
  • Further Chorister information
Earlier this week, the Choristers were photographed by the national press and appeared in a number of news outlets.

NBC News - 10/12/12
The Guardian - 11/12/12