“One of the casualties of Covid has been restrictions on choral singing” says Michael Fabricant. “Lichfield being a cathedral city, a number of residents have contacted me recently asking when choral singing in churches and elsewhere will be permitted again; so I raised the matter in Parliament today (17th June) with Andrew Selous MP who represents the Church Commissioners.
“I first asked him: ‘What discussions the Commissioners have had with the Health Secretary on re-introducing choral singing in churches and cathedrals during the Covid-19 outbreak.’
Church Commissioner Andrew Selous answered: “The Church is having ongoing discussions with the Government about when choral and communal singing in churches and cathedrals can return, and I’m very aware how frustrating the current situation is for choirs across the country.”
Michael Fabricant: “Some people relax with yoga, others with Tai Chi, perhaps you do Mr Speaker! But in the good old days, when I used to have a week in Westminster and then get back to Lichfield, I unwound by going to Evensong in Lichfield Cathedral. Very relaxing indeed.
“But for whatever reason people go for Evensong, perhaps even religious reasons and worship, there is a need for it to be restored. So what assurance can my Honourable Friend give that come July 19th, things will truly get back to normal in Lichfield and elsewhere?”
Andrew Selous replied: “I was praising my Honourable Friend in front of all the Cathedral deans on Tuesday for his diligence on behalf of Lichfield Cathedral. He is absolutely right about the beauty of our choral tradition, and how much it is cherished, and we all want to see a return as quickly as possible.”
Speaking now, Michael says “I am not sure I got any real answer to my question. But it is important to keep the pressure up and I hope that after July 19th, the ‘terminus date’ as Boris Johnson puts it, choral singing and services like Evensong can return fully to normal.”