St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, has doubled its number of minor canons with the appointment of the Rev Julie Bell, the Rev Simon Richardson and the Rev Roderick Smyth.
Julie, curate at Christ Church, Lisburn, Simon, Vicar of Glencraig Parish Church and Roderick, curate at St John’s, Malone, will join the three existing minor canons, the Rev Stephen Fielding (Agherton), the Rev Adrian Dorrian (Dundela) and the Rev Nigel Kirkpatrick (Gilnahirk).
Minor canons are appointed by the Cathedral primarily to undertake the role of cantor at Evensong. St Anne’s is delighted to now have six minor canons who are all exceptionally good singers and will be a great asset, with Choral Evensong taking place six days a week during term time.
“Choral Evensong is a dying office in many parishes and extinct in some, and so it is all the more important that, as one of the core gifts of Anglicanism to the devotional life of Christianity, the cathedrals do maintain its place in their daily life,” said the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann.
“I am extremely grateful to those who are willing to give of their time, generally once, sometimes twice, a month, to contribute so valuably to the Cathedral’s cycle of worship, and in the case of the curate-assistants Julie and Rod, to their rectors for being willing to part with them for this service.”
Master of the Choristers David Stevens said: “I’m very glad to welcome the new minor canons to St Anne’s. The sung dialogue between clergy and choir is such an integral part of Choral Evensong, it’s essential that we have strong–voiced clergy to take part, and I’m looking forward to working with them on a regular basis.”
Choral Evensong is at 3.30pm on Sundays and 5.30pm Monday to Friday in St Anne’s Cathedral. The Girls’ Choir sings on Mondays and Wednesdays, the Boys’ Choir on Tuesdays and with the adult sopranos on Thursdays. The lower parts are added on Wednesday and Thursday and sing alone on Fridays. On Sundays the girls and sopranos alternate, with the lower parts singing every week.