Response to new national Covid-19 measures

2 November 2020

In response to the Government’s announcement that places of worship in England are to close from Thursday, except for private prayer or to broadcast acts of worship, Peter Allwood, Chairman of the Cathedral Music Trust, said:

“Around the UK, cathedrals and churches with professional choirs have spent considerable time, money and effort to make singing Covid-safe both for the musicians and those around them. After months away from singing, many of our choirs have been able to return to their vital role in providing spiritual enrichment and supporting well-being through their excellence in music making.

As cathedrals and major churches consider their options for broadcasting acts of worship during this new time of lockdown, and especially as we approach Remembrance Sunday, Advent, and Christmas, they must have the option to include choral singing. World-leading ensembles like this cannot just be turned on and off like a tap. And it would be unthinkable that we have a festive season without the choral services for which the UK is renowned worldwide, particularly when they can be held in a safe and secure way and bring joy to so many during the winter months.

We call on the Government and church authorities to make this clear in their guidance.”

Update to statement on 5 November following the release of new English lockdown guidance by the Church of England and the RSCM:

“We welcome the news today that our cathedral and churches with professional choirs can continue to play their part in leading worship behind closed doors as part of broadcasts. This recognises the important work done by our choirs and cathedrals to enable singing in a COVID-safe way.”


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