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Dear Former Choristers,
To date we have 15 former members of the choir as members of the Friends of Coventry Cathedral. And we form a separate little niche within The Friends, which recognises our particular attachment to, and support for, the choir.
Bob Owen and Mary Dale were members before the Life Membership offer and thirteen of us have joined since: – David Sleath, Mike Barton, Guy Hawing, Gordon Pullin, Phil Tyers, Stuart Fielding, David Wallis, Rex Harley, Martin Shorthose, Mark Isherwood, Bill Evans, Time Constable and myself.
As some of you will know, a group of us attended a garden party given by the Bishop to new members of the Friends, and you may have seen the photo of us enjoying ourselves there.
At this gathering, Andrew Paine, Chairman of The Friends indicated that there were vacancies on The Friends’ Council, and that a representative from the Former Choristers would be a very positive development. Guy Hawking and Rex Harley indicated that they would be willing to stand in future years, if I, already retired, would be prepared to take the first stint. As a consequence, I offered to stand and was elected on to The Council at the Friends’ AGM held on September 27th.
Whilst my emotional attachment to the Cathedral is essentially musical, I suspect that most of us have the concept of “Reconciliation” running in our blood. It is clear that The Cross of Nails and the Cathedral’s Mission Statement still count for something in a troubled world, so I hope you will all bear with me, with my countless emails enlisting support, if occasionally my focus is other than music, given that financially the Cathedral faces a daily struggle to survive. That said, my most immediate focus will be to seek help in maintaining the three choral scholarships we set up two years ago.
On a completely different note, a small group of us, including Bob Weddle, have access to a number of recordings made by David Lepine, some published but out of circulation, and some never circulated at all. They are of high quality, and some fairly obvious anniversary dates are not very far away. I would like to know if there is any interest in having these works re-recorded, and whether there would be any potential subscribers to make such a project viable.
It goes without saying that I would be really grateful, if those of you who have joined the Friends would continue to spread the word to other former choristers and lay clerks and make them aware of the Former Chorister Life Membership. And finally, it is likely that in the not too distant future we will be looking for a little bit of technical help and support from those of you who are seriously technically savvy. Andrew Paine has made it clear that it is skills such as these which are going to be vital to the work of the Friends in the next three years, which is why some of those who have more recently left the choir might prove to be exceptionally valuable recruits.
Kind regards to you all,
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