Monday, July 08, 2024

Girl choristers join St Paul’s Cathedral choir for first time in 900-year history

Lila, 11 and Lois, 10 are the first girls to be official members of St Paul’s Cathedral choir

It marks a historic step in a choral tradition at London’s landmark sacred venue that stretches back 900 years.

Lila, 11 and Lois, 10 are the first girls to be official members of the choir, after spending 10 months as probationers in training.

Photos were taken of the noteworthy moment during a rehearsal on Saturday for Sunday’s Choral Evensong service.

From now on, the girl choristers will be permanent, full-time members of the choir.

The girl choristers are expected to play equal part when singing at cathedral services and events of national importance. The cathedral has a long tradition of holding events of national importance, including the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897, and the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981.

It was first announced that girls would join the choir in May 2022.

St Paul’s Cathedral and school said at the time they would take steps to “provide a truly equal offer for girl and boy choristers”.

London’s first female bishop, Dame Sarah Mullaly, attended the rehearsal.

She previously said she was “delighted” by the move, saying: “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.”

Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Reverend Dr David Ison, said at the time it had been a “long-held ambition to introduce girls’ voices into the cathedral choir”.

“Doing this will create an exceptional new music opportunity for young people and will further enhance the contribution of our highly valued and much-loved choir to the worship life of the cathedral and the heritage of the nation,” he added.