It costs £250,000 on average to run a cathedral choir for a year, and across the United Kingdom, cathedrals spend around £15m per annum. These costs are rising while financial support is shrinking. Pressure on cathedral finances has resulted in a reduction in support for choirs, in some cases by up to 50%. If we do not sustain it, this living heritage and national asset risks gradual asphyxiation.
Why is this important?
- it’s an investment in the future: choristers acquire key skills which serve them well in later life, and tend to do well across a range of careers. This is good for them, the communities in which they live and work, and ultimately the nation;
- cathedral choirs offer opportunities to all children with the requisite talent, and most seek to do so irrespective of gender, means and background;
- the UK’s cathedral choirs are the finest of their kind in the world, accessible to all;
- trained former choristers are the bedrock for many of the UK’s best adult choirs, and many of our finest musicians have come through the cathedral tradition;
- this unique living heritage is a national asset enjoyed by no other country, and should therefore be sustained.