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Gloucester Cathedral Receives £10,000

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A donation of £10,000 will be made to Gloucester Cathedral on the occasion of Evensong on Sunday, 10 July 2011. The cheque for £10,000 will be presented to the newly appointed Dean, the Very Reverend Stephen Lake, by Roger Bishton, Secretary of the Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM). This donation will augment the existing FCM Capital Grant in support of the FCM Chorister.

The Dean has said, “I am delighted that Mr Bishton is able to attend Evensong on Sunday 10 July.
Music is at the heart of so much that we do here at Gloucester Cathedral and the ongoing support we receive from the Friends of Cathedral Music means a great deal to us. Choral scholarships are important as they enable our talented young singers to further their musical development. It is only through such generous donations that we are able to maintain the high-quality music that forms such a significant part of our heritage.’

Gloucester has been a place of Christian worship continuously for over 1300 years, since Osric, an Anglo-Saxon prince, founded a religious house here in 678-9 AD. At the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, the monastery was not thriving and in 1072 King William I appointed Serlo, a monk from Mont St Michel in Normandy to be its Abbot. An energetic, charismatic and devout man, Serlo built up the wealth of the monastery to the point where in 1089 he was able to start building the magnificent abbey church which so impresses the visitor today.

Music is at the centre of the cathedral life, giving glory to God by enhancing the worship that takes place there. Established in 1539 by Henry VIII, today’s choir consists of up to 20 full and probationary choristers, nine lay clerks and three choral scholars. They sing at six services each week, as well as major Easter and Christmas services. The famous Three Choirs Festival, Europe’s longest established musical festival, is also one of the highlights of the year - this year’s festival takes place at Worcester Cathedral and starts on Saturday 6 August.

The Cathedral also has a Youth Choir made up of over 30 young male and female singers from local schools. The Youth Choir sings at Evensong on Thursdays in term time as well as on other occasions.

Roger Bishton says “The opportunity to support a choral scholar and to strengthen the musical talent which already exists is something FCM regards as worthy of support and meets our objectives in safeguarding the priceless heritage of cathedral music in Britain. All the subscription income from our members (close on 4,000) is now handed out in grants and in this year alone, we are giving £125,000 to eight cathedrals. Since our foundation in 1956 we have been able to pass on a total of over £1.8million.”