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Supporting Music at Canterbury Cathedral

Supporting Music at Canterbury Cathedral

Hearing the Cathedral alive with the sounds of worship, choral music and the hubbub of human interaction symbolises the central role of Canterbury for the world

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

Music at Canterbury

Canterbury maintains one of the oldest and most celebrated choral traditions in the world. Today, the Cathedral is host to a vibrant music community – enriching worship and inspiring people. The annual pattern of over 1,600 daily sung services at Canterbury Cathedral attracts local, national and international audiences. Furthermore, millions of people worldwide are also able to appreciate the sound of Canterbury through radio broadcasts, recordings and tours. For the local community, it is a source of great pride that the choral foundation sings on each day of the week and welcomes so many regular worshippers. For the pilgrim, Canterbury is hugely important and music provides a welcoming and inspiring experience. You can plan your own visit here and view the latest details of services.

If you would like to support music

Led by the Trust, the Cathedral is developing a new campaign for a sustainable programme of music, which will build on the success of The Canterbury Journey and our longstanding choral music traditions. Through these renewed efforts, we will ensure that the creation and performance of music remains central to our mission for the centuries to come.

With a working title of The Canterbury Sound, this campaign will have three strands:


Restoration and enhancement of the Quire Organ and the surrounding precious historic fabric of the Quire.


Growing our current music fund to provide new chorister scholarships and bursaries, as well as creating a new choir practice space within the Precincts.


Delivering a reinvigorated and forward-looking music outreach programme for our local community.

When will this be happening?

The Canterbury Sound will meet the current and future needs of the Cathedral by enabling urgent capital works and creating new endowments dedicated to music. Our schedule has been guided by the absolute deadline of the urgent Quire and Quire Organ project. These works must be completed ahead of the Lambeth Conference here at Canterbury in July 2020. Wider outreach and scholarship programmes will build on previous successes and continue far beyond this point, but will be renewed and enriched in tandem with these works.

The campaign will launch in 2018, as Canterbury marks the 30th anniversary of UNESCO World Heritage Status. Capital works will complete in 2020, as the Cathedral celebrates 600 years as the home of a permanent choir.

Please check back regularly for the latest news of this exciting campaign. Read more about the Trust’s work in our 2017 Annual Report, and find out how you can support us.


Peter and I care deeply about the preservation of historic and linguistic treasures for future generations. I can think of no finer example than the choral music tradition performed daily at Canterbury Cathedral. Echoing the seventh century monastic chants yet understandable and inspirational to listeners today, we are delighted to support these efforts through the Marit and Hans Rausing Bursary Fund. This provides both the opportunity to hone a young boy’s natural talent in choral music and to honour my parents with a lasting legacy at such a fine institution.

Lisbet Rausing

image of the Cathedral
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