Bad faith: English cathedral abolishes its choirmain
We have received the following bland and equivocal notice from Sheffield Cathedral in the north of England:
For some years the Dean and Chapter have been looking carefully at the music offer of Sheffield Cathedral. They have come to the conclusion that there needs to be significant change. This is in order to create a Music Department and Choir ready for the exciting future of the mixed urban community in which we live and work.
With the Diocesan Bishop, Chapter are appointing a new Canon Precentor in August, responsible for Cathedral worship and music. They hope this will bring increased creativity and stability.
Following a review of the Music Department in 2019, Sheffield Cathedral Chapter has decided that a completely fresh start is needed. As a result, Chapter concluded this is the right time to close the current Cathedral Choir.
This decision has not been easy because it will directly impact several colleagues and indirectly impact us all in our close-knit community. However, we believe this is in the best interests of the long-term mission of the Cathedral.
The Canon Precentor will lead the recruitment of a new music team and the development of a fresh vision for our worship. For some time, Chapter has been considering a new model for Anglican choral life here, with a renewed ambition for engagement and inclusion. They recognise that this will require flexibility, imagination and experiment.
Chapter is committed to retaining the distinctive choral life of an Anglican cathedral, drawing fully on our long heritage of music-making. They look forward with working with our partners throughout our City and Diocese to make this renewed vision a reality under God.