Friends of Cathedral Music
The Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM) is a charity which seeks to maintain and expand the work of choral foundations of cathedrals, collegiate churches, chapels, and other appropriate places of worship in the United Kingdom and Ireland. To this end, it makes grants and distributes a number of publications.
The Friends of Cathedral Music was founded in 1956 by the Revd. Ronald Sibthorpe at a meeting at St Bride's Church Fleet Street. It was prompted by a decision of the Provost of Southwell at Southwell Minster to abolish the Saturday choral evensong so that the lay clerks could watch the weekly football at Newark-on-Trent. There was also a similar incident at Truro Cathedral.
Sibthorp, in an effort to reverse the decline in interest in cathedral music after World War II, sought to create a promoting organization the Cathedral Music Advisory Committee. However the committee failed to get off the ground, so he tried a new tack and sent a letter on June 2, 1956, that would jump start a new cathedral music organization, the The Friends of Cathedral Music. Until 1962 FCM would only meet once a year but because of the interest shown in FCM and due in a large part to the charismatic figure of Anthony (‘Tony’) Harvey the regular tour of the UK as is known in the present day was started.
The Friends of Cathedral Music makes grants to choirs as endowments in support of chorister scholarships, or the purchase of capital equipment such as rehearsal pianos. The aims as spelt out in 1958 were to:
- Widening public interest in cathedral services
- Supporting and encouraging cathedral chapters
- Restoring the pre-war levels of cathedral services
- Expanding to churches where there is no choir.
The Friends of Cathedral Music publishes:
- Cathedral Music – a twice yearly magazine covering a wide range of subjects relevant to the objectives of the charity.
- Singing in Cathedrals – a directory of choral services in choral foundations in Great Britain and Ireland.
- Cathedral Voice – a twice yearly newsletter.
List of presidents
- Martin Shaw 1956–1958
- Herbert Howells 1958–1983
- George Guest 1983–2002
- Christopher Robinson 2004–
List of chairmen
- Ronald Sibthorpe 1956–1971
- Christopher Hugh Dearnley 1971–1990
- Alan Thurlow 1990–2002
- Professor Peter Toyne 2002–
- Barrett, Philip (2010). "Our founder, The Revd Ronald Sibthorp (1911–1990)". FCM. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- Shaw, Martin (September 8, 1958). "Cathedral Music". Glasgow Herald. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- Thurlow, Dr Alan (2010). "A History of the Friends of Cathedral Music". FCM. Retrieved March 9, 2010.