The Cathedral Choir

Services have been sung in Southwell Minster for centuries, and the tradition of daily choral worship continues to thrive. There was originally a college of Vicars Choral who took the lead as singers, one or two of whom were known as Rector Chori, or ‘Ruler of the Choir’. The Vicars Choral lived in accommodation where Vicars Court now stands, and lived a collegiate lifestyle.

The current Cathedral Choir owes its form to the addition of Boy Choristers to the Vicars Choral, and the Vicars themselves eventually being replaced by lay singers, known as Lay Clerks. For a large period of time, the format remained very similar – a number of boy choristers singing with a mixture of Lay Clerks and Vicars Choral, slowly becoming a group of entirely lay singers. Eventually, in 2005, a Girls’ Choir was started by the Assistant Director of Music, who have now been formally admitted as Girl Choristers, and we are delighted that both Boy and Girl Choristers have complete parity.

Today, the Cathedral Choir comprises the Boy Choristers, Girl Choristers, and Lay Clerks who, between them, provide music for seven choral services each week during school terms. The Boy and Girl Choristers usually sing as separate groups, combining for particularly important occasions such as Christmas and Easter services, and notable events in the life of the Minster. All of the Choristers are educated at The Minster School, a Church of England Academy with a music-specialist Junior Department (years 3-6) for Choristers and other talented young musicians.

The Cathedral Choir has an enviable reputation for excellence, and has recorded and broadcast extensively over the years. Regular concerts and international tours are a feature of the Choir’s work, alongside more local events such as civic services and the annual Four Choirs’ Evensong together with the cathedral choirs of Derby, Leicester and Coventry.

The Cathedral Choir can be heard singing at Evensongs at 5.30pm every weekday except Wednesday, and on Saturdays and Sundays. Please check the Services and Music List for full details.

See below for the amazing benefits of joining the Cathedral Choir


If you would like to more information on the Cathedral Choir, including how to join, please contact

Paul Provost
Rector Chori
Southwell Minster
01636 817281