Would your church like to host a ‘Safari’ Evensong?

After an extended break – for obvious reasons (!) – in September 2021 Bradford Cathedral Choir restarted visiting parish churches across the Diocese of Leeds to sing choral evensong. Since they began in 2018, so-called ‘Safari’ evensongs have been a mainstay of the cathedral choir’s calendar, and we now make six visits every year. We love travelling across the diocese to bring cathedral music to different churches and congregations, especially to places where there is no choir, and where choral evensong is a dim and distant memory.

Girls’ Choir 2022

This academic year, between them, the boy and girl choristers have visited parish churches in Rawdon, Whitkirk, Wortley and Farnley, Baildon, Ripley, and Barnoldswick. Visits are planned later in the year to St Mary’s Church, Honley (Huddersfield EA) and All Saints’, Spofforth (Ripon EA).

We are currently planning visits for Sundays in 2023 and 2024. The cathedral choir, conductor and organist will come to you free of charge. We ask churches to cover transport costs (usually around £250 if we have to hire a coach) and to provide the choir with a tea (the choristers’ favourite bit!). We will work with you to put together an order of service: we’re happy to bring cathedral-style evensong to you, or to do something that fits a little more with your context.

To find out more, please contact Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral, Alex Berry.

‘We loved having Bradford Cathedral Choir for a Safari evensong at St John’s Church in Wortley and Farnley.  We don’t have the capacity to run a regular choir and so it was incredibly encouraging to be joined by such excellent singers and an exuberant organist to be led in such sublime worship. It’s great to have such a wonderful sister church in the diocese who are prepared to resource other churches with events such as this.’

The Revd Chris Balding, Curate of Wortley and Farnley

‘Sometimes we feel a bit on the edge of things here in Barnoldswick. We really enjoyed connecting with the Cathedral, our choral tradition and with young people who love singing. Please come again!’

The Revd Dr Sheena McMain, Vicar of Barnoldswick with Bracewell

‘St Peter’s Rawdon very much enjoyed hosting Bradford Cathedral Choir for a Safari Evensong. Thanks so much for the beautiful music and leading us into the presence of God. We also enjoyed fellowshipping over food and drink with the choir. Everyone would love to welcome you again.’

The Revd Mark Smith, Vicar of Rawdon

St John’s Baildon very much enjoyed the visit from Bradford Cathedral Boys’ Choir, which included a number of probationers. It gave our own choristers a chance to experience Evensong, which most of them had never heard before as there is currently no second service on Sundays at our church and also to see the high standard of singing which can be attained in a relatively short time, in the case of the probationers. The anthem was one we all knew, but the canticles and responses were new to most of us. We would be delighted to welcome you all back any time.

Helen Austwick, Director of Music, Parish of Baildon

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