Think again about the Ely Cathedral Music Appeal

“Ely cathedral’s on-going Music Appeal, aims to raise an endowment fund of £10m to ensure the long-term sustainability of both music and the choristers at Ely Cathedral.”

So the Hunts Post reports, and Ely Cathedral website gives details of this appeal.

Lay people and clergy in the diocese must seriously question this huge appeal. Is it the best use of the church’s diminishing resources? Should so much energy be spent on the privileged? The choir is all male and not large. The fund will no doubt be used to provide private education for the priviliged. The Church thereby supports the rich getting richer and meanwhile poor parishes get poorer.

Parishes in dioceses are being squeezed more and more for money. Understandably they are being encouraged to look for ‘Fresh Expressions’ of Church.

The Cathedral music appeal is disproportionally large and is for too small a constituency. The Cathedral needs to look more carefully at the stewardship of its resources and how it serves the diocese and wider church. Let us not forget the other choirs of the diocese.

Fresh expression of Cathedral, please! More imaginative and creative thought is called for. The answer is simply not to have large financial appeals.

I certainly shall not support this appeal and I encourage serious questions to be asked about it.



2 Responses to “Think again about the Ely Cathedral Music Appeal”

  1. Tiffer Says:

    Good question. Coventry cathedral is a place which is always open to financial donations for the musical ministry that goes on there. For a cathedral to lose its choir is a huge loss for the diocese as well as the cathedral itself, and often the childrens choirs give children a musical education which they could otherwise not afford – at Coventry this was the case and it was seen as an important missionary endeavour. However I agree that when smaller churches are struggling to pay their parish share it seems nonsensical that our main worry would be paying a choirmaster.

  2. Joan Says:

    I am sorry, but for me and for many it is the music which was responsible for engendering any interest in the CoE, and it is the music which encourages me to continue attendence. Choir schools help provide musical education within a Christian context as well as providing an all-round education for children who have (or whose parents have) some commitment to the church. Such choir school places enable children from poorer backgrounds to have a better chance in life, as well as helping impoverished clergy families trying to survive on a stipend close to the poverty level.
    I plan church attendences to mazimize good musical input! I avoid “gospel” and “folk” music like the plague!

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