Girls aloud in St Paul’s Cathedral

Girls aloud in St Paul’s Cathedral


norman lebrecht

May 06, 2022

London’s signature church will admit females to its choir from 2025, breaking a taboo of 900 years.

It needs the extra time to expand boarding facilities in the school.

Sarah Mullally, bishop of London, said: ‘I am delighted by the chapter decision to welcome girls into the cathedral choir. The choir plays a key role in the worship not just of the cathedral, but of the whole diocese. It will be wonderful to hear girls’ voices contributing to this.’


  • James Weiss says:

    Start with female priests. Then you get female bishops. Of course, they don’t understand that girls voices can’t replace boys voices. The sound is different. It’s not an equality issue. They just want to destroy every tradition – artistic and otherwise – that exists.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      Fact check:

      Andrew Carwood, Director of Music at St Paul’s says:

      “At St Paul’s there will be separate boys’ and girls’ lines, which will perform together at major services. I accept the idea of a boys’ choir as culturally iconic, and I’d like to keep that. And I’d like girls to be able to experience exactly the same thing.

      “Traditional is not being broken, it’s being developed. The cathedral music tradition has always moved and changed and developed. So we want to move it forward, but also to preserve, so the boys and the girls will have their own identity, their own traditions, their own style within what we do.”

      • John Borstlap says:

        I don’t see any problem with the different timbre of boys’ voices. The main consideration is the music, isn’t it? and that means: the notes, the lines, to be sung, the timbre is irrelevant, it’s the expression of the music that is the important thing.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Stand by Vienna Boys Choir.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      There seems no place for child-raising in the brave new world (that has such creatures in it!).

  • John Borstlap says:

    No doubt God’s wish is finally, after all that time, fulfilled.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      There’s a God??!!!

      • John Borstlap says:

        Yes there is. So many people have found-out.

        By all accounts, it’s safer to believe in God than not to, because the risk that he exists is a better one than the one that he doesn’t exist.

        “We understand nothing of the works of God unless we take it as a principle that He wishes to blind some and to enlighten others.” From Pascal’s wager.

        Another good one:

        “It is not certain that everything is uncertain.”

  • One-time SPCCS inmate! says:

    Let’s hope that in time they can equal this:

    (Robert’s mother, Laura, taught many a Brighton / Sussex boy to sing in the 1970s and 80s, including me, and she is remembered fondly by all of them. I trust she has found some comfort in this recording over the years since 2001.)

    • Gus says:

      Thank you for posting a remarkable and poignant performance by Robert Eaton, it was quite stunning.

  • gwilliard says:

    The Anglican choral tradition, beloved around the world for its unique sound and emotional sensibility, is now close to total destruction. Why can’t there be a diversity of choral foundations instead of a monoculture? Already in 2019 girls outnumbered boys in cathedral choir stalls, so it’s not about equality, it’s about cultural vandalism. A bit out of date, but relevant:

    • La plus belle voix says:

      The Anglican choral tradition has long since been destroyed by praise bands, with their imbecilic, infantile ditties that would find good use in Guantanamo or a rest home for the senile.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Looking forward to seeing boys in Girl Guides.

  • Hans-Dieter Glaubke says:

    I suppose, what must sadly be recognized, is, that tradition be damned.

  • Una says:

    Not before time. I’d have loved to have been part of a Cathedral choir when I was 8. Only because of being a girl was I not allowed to sing in the choir of my diocesan cathedral – namely Westminster Cathedral Choir, and certainly not because I couldn’t sing or read music. Sixty years on and it’s all the same! So very pleased to read this about St Paul’s.

  • Larry W says:

    The girls’ voices will surely contribute if they’re singing aloud. Nice that it’s now allowed.

  • Gary Freer says:

    When the boys are gone, where do the C of E and Collegiate Choirs expect to find tenors and basses in the future?

    Enjoy the unique sound of a top line of boy trebles while you can, folks.

  • Victor Trahan says:

    Aloud means ‘out loud’ as in ‘Read this book aloud’.