St Paul’s Cathedral to welcome girls to its Choir

Press release
5th May 2022

St Paul’s Cathedral to welcome girls to its Choir

St Paul’s Cathedral has today announced exciting plans to welcome girl choristers to its internationally renowned Choir.

Currently, the Choir consists of boy choristers who, with the Vicars Choral (all professional singers), enhance the daily liturgies of the Cathedral. The Chapter of St Paul’s has taken the decision to establish, for the first time in 900 years, a girls’ line of equivalent number and profile to the boys.

It is intended that the first girls will join the Choir in 2025 after both the Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral School have had the time to undertake the practical arrangements needed to provide a truly equal offer for girl and boy choristers. As part of the plans, a full fundraising campaign will be launched so that the School’s current boarding facilities can be enlarged, and the Cathedral’s generous scholarship programme can be delivered equally to boys and girls.

Quire seats with lamps at St Paul's

The Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison, said:
“It has been a long-held ambition to introduce girls’ voices into the Cathedral Choir at St Paul’s.  Doing this will create an exceptional new music opportunity for young people and will further enhance the contribution of our highly valued and much-loved Choir to the worship life of the Cathedral and the heritage of the nation.”

The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally, said: “I am delighted by the Chapter decision to welcome girls into the Cathedral Choir.  The choir plays a key role in the worship not just of the Cathedral, but of the whole diocese.  It will be wonderful to hear girls’ voices contributing to this.”

Both girls and boys will be led by St Paul’s Cathedral’s illustrious Director of Music, Andrew Carwood, and will play an equal part in the singing of our services as well as at events of national importance. The existing Choir will shortly be performing at the Service of Thanksgiving for Her Majesty The Queen’s reign on 3rd June 2022, part of the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

Andrew Carwood, Director of Music, said: ‘“Our Choir is a true family, built on the values of encouragement, kindness and support. Welcoming women alto deputies 10 years ago, and appointing our first permanent female Vicar Choral five years ago, has thoroughly enriched the vibrancy of our choral and social life. Knowing that our incredible boys will be joined by young girl choristers in the near future is heart-warming, and an important milestone in the Choir’s history.

“I look forward to working with the St Paul’s Cathedral School, under the leadership of Simon Larter-Evans, to move forward with pace and purpose to ensure that Chapter’s vision for the Cathedral Choir will become a reality as soon as is practically possible.” 

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