The Choral Foundation – Raising hearts to God
For the last 120 years, the Choir of Westminster Cathedral has drawn generations of people closer to God and touched their hearts.
Protecting the choir for future generations
The Choir is entering an exciting new chapter under Simon Johnson, the Master of Music. Alongside singing the Cathedral’s daily liturgies and restarting tours, concerts and recordings, the Choir is also developing a long-term strategy to protect it for future generations. The Choir relies completely on funding from the Cathedral and one-off donations. This is an uncertain basis from which to exist and grow. Now is the time to build strong financial foundations, so that this unique choral tradition can grow and continue to glorify God and benefit so many people, from all walks of life.
“…I am not even a Christian but this is jaw-dropping. Absolutely beautiful.”
At the heart of the Choir are the choristers, aged 8 to 13, who are taught at the Cathedral Choir School. While the choristers’ education costs and boarding are taken care of by the School, the Cathedral pays for the Choir’s running costs. The largest part of this cost is the salaries of the Lay Clerks, the eight professional adult singers. The Lay Clerks are the backbone of the Choir, and help to preserve its unique tone and provide continuity while the choristers grow and move on. Over 20 years ago, Cardinal Basil Hume raised money for the Choir as part of the Centenary appeal for the Cathedral. Rising costs mean that these funds are now spent.
It costs the Cathedral over £500,000 a year to run the Choir. This includes:
- the salaries of the Master of Music and core staff who lead and organise the Choir
- the salaries of the eight professional Lay Clerks and their deputies
- the costs of the Organ Scholar
- the Victoria Children’s Choir for local children
The Cathedral is finding it harder to afford these costs each year. It is time to act, to look after and build on this priceless choral heritage.
An Invitation to become a Patron
The Westminster Cathedral Choral Foundation is being established to meet the running costs of the Cathedral Choir both now and for the future.
We ask all who love this Choir to consider becoming a Patron of The Choral Foundation with a monthly gift or by remembering our work in your will.
As a Patron of The Choral Foundation, you will:
- secure the Choir’s future and inspire the next generation of choristers
- preserve and promote our legacy of world-class sacred music in Westminster Cathedral
- join a community of passionate music lovers at receptions and special events
- stay informed with regular updates about the impact your support is having
“Westminster Cathedral Choir is a jewel in the crown of Britain’s choral tradition – and a globally recognised centre of excellence for the sung Catholic liturgy… One of the finest all-male voice choirs in England; a living tradition that must be cherished and preserved to inspire future generations as they do today’s audiences and congregations”