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The liturgy at Salisbury Cathedral is being sung again

Maggie Hamilton

Music returns to Salisbury Cathedral

3:24, 9th September 2020

 

After six months’ silence owing to tight lock-down restrictions in the face of Covid-19, Salisbury Cathedral Choir has resumed singing.

In March, cathedrals and churches across the land were instructed to close as a response to the pandemic, bringing to an abrupt halt all acts of worship within their buildings. While certain acts of worship were permitted to resume in July, it has only recently become possible for choirs to take up their duties, owing to fears concerning the spread of the coronavirus via the ‘aerosol’ produced when singing.

The Cathedral’s director of music, David Halls, said, ‘We are delighted that, after such a prolonged and worrying period of silence, our Cathedral Choir can resume its duties once more. At various points in history the worship of the Church of England has seen dramatic changes, but never in any of our lifetimes has church music experienced such an extended period of interruption. Even during the first and second world wars, choral services would have been kept going in some form.’

Risk assessment and safety measures for the resumption of choral rehearsals and services have been months in the planning, and the cathedral is still operating on a severely reduced capacity. Congregation members are required to book a place at services, and the choir will sing at some considerable distance from worshippers. The boy and girl choristers will rotate duties performing in separate group ‘bubbles’ (allowing them to stand next to each other), while the adult musicians must maintain a safe distance at all times. salisburycathedral.org.uk

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