Happy new year!

No, the choirs of Christ Church Cathedral are not exceptionally organised with holiday greetings – there’s too much music to learn and perfect before we even think about other elements of Christmas and New Year. But “happy new year” is (perhaps not theologically) completely appropriate for this weekend: Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent, … More Happy new year!

The communion of saints, old friends, and Christ the King

Last week we sang the Adoramus Te, written by former Director of Music Keith Noake, father of the choir’s very own and much-loved Jenny and Rosie. Last week was the anniversary of his death, and so we celebrated the legacy he gifted us with. October saw us quietly noting the year’s mind of our friend … More The communion of saints, old friends, and Christ the King

Singing in the storm

This morning’s opening hymn: While angels delight to hymn you above, the humbler creation, though faltering their praise with true adoration shall sing all their days. The humbler creation: that’s us. And sometimes our praise is faltering indeed. Sometimes it’s hard to sing. Not the music, necessarily, although sometimes it’s a challenge to learn new … More Singing in the storm

A very old prayer

The last chorister has returned to Australia from overseas. The tour really is over. We are well and truly back to the normal weekly singing. This Sunday morning we sang the Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, written by Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina in 1590. Four hundred and twenty six years ago, this beautiful piece of music … More A very old prayer

A blessed interruption

We’ve been spending a lot of time rehearsing. It’s slightly different in English cathedrals — we robe, and do most of our rehearsal in the choir stalls of the cathedral itself, rather than in the song school. We were interrupted in rehearsal yesterday. Norwich was once home to Benedictine monks, who kept the daily patterns … More A blessed interruption

A history of prayer

Yesterday we said goodbye to Southwark cathedral, which has been our home for the week, and today we have travelled on a large purple bus all the way to Norwich. Southwark cathedral is a beautiful place. Huge quadrapartite vaulted ceilings arched above us as we sang; during Evensong, light spilled through the high glass windows … More A history of prayer

A visit to a friend

It was an utter privilege on Friday to leave our hotel (a little earlier than most of us would have liked) and travel by bus ninety-seven miles (whatever that is in kilometres) all the way to Beaulieu Abbey, the church from which Newcastle’s first bishop William Tyrell came. The current church was a former refectory … More A visit to a friend