English abbey admits first girls

English abbey admits first girls


norman lebrecht

May 09, 2021

From Tewkesbury Abbey:

Dean Close Preparatory School, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Abbey are delighted to announce a historic change to their chorister
programme. From September 2021, chorister places in Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum will, for the first time, be open to
both young girls and boys.

This exciting step presents an equal opportunity for young boys and girls of all ages and backgrounds to have access to the
outstanding musical training that being a chorister brings, alongside a first-class education at Dean Close Preparatory School. This
year, opportunities are open for girls and boys to begin as choristers in Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum in years 4, 5 and 6 in
September 2021. In a significant first for both Tewkesbury Abbey and Dean Close Preparatory School, the change will mean that
boys and girls will have the opportunity to sing alongside one another on a daily basis. 

The Reverend Canon Paul Williams, Vicar of Tewkesbury Abbey, said: “As we celebrate 900 years of Christian worship and
witness at Tewkesbury Abbey, I am delighted to welcome this new initiative. As we move into the future, it builds on all that has
gone before and strengthens the already significant partnership between Tewkesbury Abbey and Dean Closes Preparatory
School. Hallelujah, on we go!”


  • Michael Wilkinson says:

    Tewkesbury Abbey is one of the greatest churches in England, but it is not, and never has been, a cathedral.

    • Maria says:

      It doesn’t have a Bishop but the education is the same if not higher when there is a choir school involved. After all it is Westminster Abbey and Bath Abbey not Cathedrals. The Anglicans do not have either a choir school nor cathedral in Leeds but yet there is a Bishop of Leeds. Bradford Cathedral is in upgraded parish church in a very deprived area of England. There is a Leeds Cathedral which is Catholic, run nothing like any other, and has no choir school. Kids come from all over the Leeds District of West Yorkshire to sing, and they are just fantastic as is the whole set up. So Tewkesbury is far more akin to a south of England posh Anglican cathedral when you look at other areas of the country that have cathedrals but not abbeys. Either way, this is great news for Tewkesbury and not before time.

  • Stephen Birkin says:

    Welcome to the third decade of the 21st century, Tewkesbury. I assume you no longer burn heretics.

    • Allen says:

      “I assume you no longer burn heretics”

      No. And we don’t decapitate, throw off buildings, stone, or hang people from cranes.

  • fflambeau says:

    Probably due more to numbers (or lack of them) than any ideological change of position.

  • fflambeau says:

    And only 900 years after the Abbey was consecrated!