Bristol Cathedral evensong service marks 20 years of girl choristers

Bristol Cathedral The special choral evensong took place at 15:15 GMT

Related Stories

A service has taken place at Bristol Cathedral to celebrate 20 years since girls started singing in the cathedral choir.

It now has 28 choristers, equally split between the sexes, and all members are taught at Bristol Cathedral Choir School.

Mark Lee, director of music, said the change was a controversial decision at the time.

Previous choir members were also invited to Saturday's event.

'Voluntary group'

"Bristol was the first cathedral to ordain women so there is something of a precedent at Bristol I think for the move to equality, long overdue in my opinion," Mr Lee said.

"Canon John Simpson, who was in charge of music at the time, and the dean were very keen we should provide an opportunity for the girls to sing.

"So we started off with a voluntary group of about 20 older girls than the ones we now have as choristers - and they sang as a separate group.

"Then when the school became co-educational that was an opportunity to have girls as full cathedral choristers.

"Girls and boys are now equal, sing exactly the same number of services, the musical expectations are the same, and their singing is exactly on a level," he added.

Last month Canterbury Cathedral formed its first girls' choir after almost a millennium of male-only singing.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Bristol



Min. Night 15 °C


  • Children in Africa graphicBaby steps

    Why are more children in Africa living beyond five?

  • Olive oil and olivesFood myth

    Did 1950s Britain get its olive oil from a pharmacy?

  • Rio Ferdinand and David Moyes'Playing to win'

    Memorable quotes from sporting autobiographies BBC Sport

  • Hand washing to contain Ebola in LiberiaEbola virus

    More action is needed to tackle Ebola, say experts

  • shadow of people kissing on grassOutdoor love

    Should the police intervene when people have sex in public?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.