Ripon Cathedral is to receive a further £20,000 from the Cathedral Music Trust in awards totalling nearly half a million pounds made to 36 Anglican and Roman Catholic choral foundations across the UK.
The 2021 special revenue grants programme was set up to help sustain cathedral, abbey and church choirs as they seek to recover from the devastating financial impact of lockdown. The £444,500 awarded follows on from the £1 million raised and awarded in 2020 through the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund, with Ripon receiving £35,650 in December.
In both rounds of funding, demand for grants to support choral foundations was three times greater than the funds available, demonstrating the continued urgent need for financial support.
Chairman of the Cathedral Music Trust, Peter Allwood, said: “We are pleased that our 2021 grants programme is able to offer further support to an even wider range of choral foundations than before. However, we are keenly aware of the continued financial pressures many choirs are still experiencing. Cathedral music has nourished and sustained many of us during the past year, and we owe it to our musicians to do all that we can to keep this extraordinary heritage thriving.”
Music has flourished at Ripon for 14 centuries since Wilfrid brought cantors from Rome and Canterbury to teach the chant to his Benedictine monks and fill the new stone Church of St Peter which stood on the site, with glorious sound to the glory of God.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson DL said: “We at Ripon Cathedral value hugely our choral foundation, believing that the contribution of all members of our music department enhances our worship and helps to sustain a significant element of our heritage, something which at Ripon goes back to the 7th century. I am extremely grateful therefore, for the support that we are receiving from the Cathedral Music Trust.”