Image for Behind the scenes at Westminster Abbey

Behind the scenes at Westminster Abbey

Duration: 02:11

The programme opens with Westminster Abbey's early morning routine as a Verger tidies up after the first Eucharist of the day, choristers rush down for breakfast and on to Song School, and the assistant plumber explains the continual maintenance needed to keep the Abbey's roofs and gutters free of leaves and blockages.
The Dean explains the Abbey's spiritual mission. He and his colleagues are also the guardians of a thousand-year-old World Heritage Site. The new man in charge of upkeep, architect Ptolemy Dean, attends an ancient initiation ceremony in which he promises to preserve the building and its treasures.

The thirty boy choristers who sing in the Abbey's world famous choir go from competing to sing a high solo in the Ash Wednesday service, to being asked to sing in Downing Street. International stars and singers including Rufus Wainright and Hugh Masekela make guest appearances in the Commonwealth service, attended by the Queen. On Easter Sunday, the people in the Abbey, a local community and a national institution, come together for a joyous celebration.

Available since: Fri 30 Nov 2012


Flavia Rittner
Executive Producer
Leonie Jameson
Assistant Producer
Hannah O'Grady
Director of photography
Jim Ashcroft
Sound Recordist
Ian Macpherson
Lucy Briers
Ben Sheward
Assistant Plumber
Len McMillan

This clip is from

Westminster Abbey Episode 1

1/3 The new man in charge of the Abbey's upkeep takes part in an ancient initiation ceremony.

First broadcast: 07 Dec 2012

Image for Episode 1 Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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