Music crash at another UK cathedral

Music crash at another UK cathedral


norman lebrecht

July 26, 2020

The Director of Music at Ripon Cathedral has quit.

Andrew Bryden announced it on Twitter.

He has swiftly been erased from the cathedral website.

Meanwhile, at Sheffield Cathedral, which last week abolished its choir, the dean has ordered an inquiry into alleged bullying of music staff.

Holy, holy, holy mayhem.



  • Una says:

    Ripon is a cathedral in my diocese, the Diocese of Leeds, that has the three cathedrals of Ripon, Wakefield and Bradford. The Deans in those three places are great guys so no idea what has happened in Ripon but certainly not akin to Sheffield. No doubt we will hear. But I go to Bradford Cathedral and there is no place more diverse than that and the rough and tumble of the inner-city life. The priests in our Diocese of Leeds cathedrals all value good music as do the bishops and parishioners alike.

  • Allen says:

    Not much scope for “inclusivity” in Ripon, unless it has changed a lot since I was last there.

  • David Burrowes says:

    Do the dean and chapter not understand the difference between inclusion and exclusion?

    David Burrowes

  • Stephen says:

    He’s still on the website, under “staff”.

    “Andrew Bryden, Director of Music
    Andrew has overall responsibility for all the Cathedral’s music, including the Cathedral Choir, and is the best person to contact about joining the Choir and the Choir’s many activities. He conducts the Cathedral Choir at most services.”

    The tweet is a bog-standard “I’ve resigned” message. I think you’re reading too much into the situation. Perhaps he’s off to Sheffield, where there is a fascinating and challenging job available for the right candidate – perhaps someone with a history of outreach and choir development who’s more than just an organist?

    • Jackyt says:

      He says in replies he has given under his tweet that he is not going to Sheffield, or any other cathedral. There are many tributes to his work at Ripon Cathedral on Twitter.

  • Bored Muso says:

    Another casualty in church music as a result of Covid and time out for the church to reflect on their musical needs with regards to returning to church worship.
    Many others, will no doubt seize this opportunity of the enforced church closure to look at number crunching too, and ask if they can afford professional church musicians too. St Margaret’s Church in the shadow of Westminster abbey & Holy Trinity, Sloane Square, are just 2 London churches disbanding their choirs (and at Westminster, their services) on the excuse of insufficient funds.
    It is sad that the rich and affluent CofE prefer to spend money on debatable investments (property and firearms, to name but 2), rather than dip into their vast coffers to help and sustain our world renowned choral heritage before it is too late…. Shame on the church not to recognise how music enhances and stimulates worship.

    • Maria says:

      Ripon is far from affluent and part of the not so affluent Diocese of Leeds that houses the multi/inter-cultural cathedrals and cities of Wakefield and Bradford, which rely on the goodwill of local singers and unpaid – or very little renumerated lay clerks not enough to earn a living as the money isn’t there. It doesn’t pay to blanket us all with the same Anglican brush as the North of England – not least of all the Leeds Diocese – is very, very different to your average southern cathedrals and how they are funded.

    • Peter says:

      What “vast coffers” ?

      • bored muso says:

        The CofE is very weathy due to their canny investments. (some very dubious for a church to be investing in) Look at the Church Commissioners site/accounts for more striking information.