Choral Singing in Churches and Cathedrals: Covid-19

Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons on 17th June 2021.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

What discussions the commissioners have had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on reintroducing choral singing in churches and cathedrals during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church is having ongoing discussions with the Government about when choral and communal singing in churches and cathedrals can return, and I am very aware how frustrating the current situation is for choirs across the country.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

Some people relax with yoga, others with tai chi—perhaps you do, Mr Speaker—but in the good old days when I used to have a week in Westminster and then get back to Lichfield, I unwound by going to evensong in Lichfield cathedral, which is very relaxing indeed. Whatever reason people go to evensong—perhaps even religious reasons, for worship—there is a need for it to be restored. What assurance can my hon. Friend give that, come 19 July, things will truly get back to normal in Lichfield and elsewhere?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I was praising my hon. Friend in front of all the cathedral deans on Tuesday for his diligence on behalf of Lichfield cathedral. He is absolutely right about the beauty of our choral tradition and how much it is cherished. We all want to see a return as quickly as possible.