Wells's choristers are cloaked and warm

by
21 March 2014

by Philip Welch

JASON BRYANT

WARM cloaks have brought sex equality to the child choristers of an English cathedral.

Cloaks were provided for the girls' choir when it was first formed at Wells Cathedral 20 years ago. But the boys' choir - believed to be founded 1100 years ago - never had cloaks to wear.

Now, after fund-raising led by one of the parents, Arnold Wills, all the choristers have been given new cloaks. "Over the years, the choristers' parents have said it is great that the girls stay warm and dry - but what about the boys?" Mr Wills said.

Money came from corporate sponsors, the cathedral, the school, and fund-raising by families.

"We are delighted with the new cloaks," the Head Boy Chorister, Fergus Brown, said. "The design is smart, and now we all have the same."

The Precentor of the cathedral, Canon Nicholas Jepson-Biddle, said: "We are very grateful to the many who have given so generously. . . The children of the choir work extremely hard to maintain the reputation that the choir has gained over many years. It is the least that we can do to keep them warm while they do it."

Matthew Owens, the cathedral organist and Master of the Choristers, said: "We are delighted that all of the choristers now look the same . . . and are recognisable ambassadors for Wells Cathedral."

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