Diamond Fund for Choristers

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The nation's longest established choirs, the cathedral choirs, are under real financial pressure. So the Friends of Cathedral Music have established the Diamond Fund for Choristers.

Friends of Cathedral Music - Safeguarding our priceless heritage, securing a living tradition

Patrons: The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

You hear a great deal about choirs these days, and the good they do for people in all sorts of ways. More and more people are joining them for health, social and other benefits. Yet the nation’s longest established choirs, the cathedral choirs, are under real financial pressure. The Friends of Cathedral Music are seeking your support to help them get through challenging times, to sustain the unique development opportunities they offer boys and girls, and to maintain a living heritage of more than a thousand years.

To mark its 60th Anniversary in 2016 the Friends of Cathedral Music, a registered UK charity (no 285121), is looking to raise £10m for the new Diamond Fund for Choristers to:

  • relieve hardship with targeted grants,
  • fund chorister bursaries in perpetuity through endowments, and
  • provide other support to choristers to help them develop and flourish.

To support the Diamond Fund, you could buy the Jubilate CD, an album of songs sung by St Paul's Cathedral Choir celebrating 500 years of best-loved cathedral music, from Tallis to Rutter, with Handel, Stanford, Mendelssohn, Parry and more between. On four tracks, St Paul’s Cathedral choir is augmented by choristers from no fewer than 50 cathedrals across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all brought together and recorded in the astonishing acoustics of St Paul’s Cathedral. Our own chorister Eilidh Owen was lucky enough to be a part of the recording and the initial concert that originated the idea. 

Read more about why the Diamond Fund is so important.

British cathedral choirs are acknowledged as the finest of their kind in the world and the Friends of Cathedral Music stress that the training young choristers receive provides them with valuable skills and attributes later in life. Adult choirs clearly benefit from regular throughput of trained choristers and many big names in the musical world have passed through the cathedral choral tradition.

But the benefits of choral training go beyond music. Many former choristers go on to do well across a broad range of careers, including some of the Diamond Fund patrons:  Alexander Armstrong, Simon Russell Beale, Harry Christophers, Katie Derham, Sir Roger Gifford, David Hill, Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Dame Felicity Lott, Richard Morrison, Roxanna Panufnik, Dr Richard Seal, Jon Snow and Judith Weir.

"I owe so much to my life as a Cathedral Chorister."
Jon Snow, Channel 4 News

"Being a Cathedral Chorister literally changed my life. It gave me the discipline and the taste for excellence to succeed.  It's vital that it continues to do so for future generations of young people."   Rt Hon David Lammy, MP

"This is an essential cause."
Harry Christophers, founder & conductor, The Sixteen

Lichfield Cathedral School by Numbers

15 Number of Head Teachers since 1942
3 Spires on Lichfield Cathedral
1553 Year Lichfield gained city status
201 raised at our last Macmillan Coffee Morning