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Choral Music: Cathedrals

Volume 743: debated on Thursday 11 January 2024

The Church Commissioners provided £1 million to support music in cathedrals during the pandemic. That sum was match funded by the Cathedral Music Trust. The commissioners are extremely grateful to the trust for doing what it did to help ensure that worship in our cathedrals remains of the highest calibre.

My hon. Friend will know that cathedral schools, such as Lichfield Cathedral School, play an important part in providing young choristers for cathedrals, but they are very concerned that if they have to charge 20% on their fees, and possibly lose their charitable status, they may no longer be viable and will go bust. What assessment have the commissioners made of the effects of such a change?

I can tell my hon. Friend that there is a concern that cathedral schools may not be able to afford to pay business rates. If the payment of business rates and the addition of VAT on fees cause choir schools to close, that would be an issue for a number of cathedrals.