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An ecumenical matter

22 November 2013

THE Church of Ireland Cathedral of St Anne, Belfast, in Down & Dromore and Connor dioceses, has launched an ambitious ecumenical scheme that has been warmly welcomed across denominational boundaries.

To build up the cathedral's boys' choir and girls' choir, but also to raise the standard of music in local schools, professional singing tutors from St Anne's will visit pupils in each of three primary schools daily, "teaching in every class, training boys and girls to sing to such a standard that some will eventually have the opportunity to join the cathedral choirs".

They call the scheme an ecumenical "Choir School". St Anne's launched a successful girls' choir last autumn, and hopes, by means of the Choir School, to have a boys' choir in place by Christmas.

The Dean, the Very Revd John Mann, believes that "St Anne's should not only have an open door to the people of Belfast, but an intent to take what we have been given in abundance to share with everyone - especially with children."

The response from the three primary schools - Edenbrooke, Sacred Heart Boys', and Cliftonville Integrated School - to this offer of expert singing tuition has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. The Principal of Sacred Heart Boys' speaks for all of them when she thanks the Dean for "this marvellous opportunity", and hopes that "the boys will flourish from this experience".

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