Archive for the ‘News’ Category

newmusicwells festival: Sunday 15 – Thursday 19 October 2017

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

new music wells
forty years of music: a celebration

Sunday 15 – Thursday 19 October 2017

Founded in 2008 by Matthew Owens, Organist and Master of the Choristers, this innovative festival is a retrospective of sacred choral and organ music of the previous forty years during all services, together with world premiere performances by Wells Cathedral Choir and organists of music by internationally renowned composers, local composers, and composition students from Wells Cathedral School. There are also concerts and a public masterclass with the featured composer of the year. The festival’s President is British composer, Judith Bingham, following on from the late Jonathan Harvey.

The 2017 new music wells festival will take place from Sunday 15 – Thursday 19 October. This year’s distinguished featured composer is Howard Skempton. His new choral works will be premiered by Wells Cathedral Choir on Thursday 19 October at the 5.15pm service of Choral Evensong. He will be in conversation with fellow composers for Composer Conversations with Michael Berkeley at 2.30pm on Wednesday 18 October. Admission to all nmw events is free.

The festival will also include world premiere performances of works by other composers including Philip Wilby.

There will be four concerts during the week: Vicars Choral Ed Goater and Chris Sheldrake will give a contemporary song recital on Monday 16 October, and students from Wells Cathedral School will give lunchtime recitals on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 October at 1.05pm, including music by the school’s student composers. In addition Organist and Master of the Choristers, Matthew Owens, will give an organ recital at 1.05pm on Thursday 19 October which will include world premieres of works by Howard Skempton and Judith Bigham. Admission to all three performances is free, with retiring collections to support Wells Cathedral Music.

For information about how you can support the commissioning of new music for the festival, please click here.

Times of Services for the festival
Sunday: Eucharist 9.45am, Matins 11.30am, Evensong 3.00pm

Monday to Thursday: Evensong 5.15pm

newmusicwells also forms part of a cultural collaboration in Wells with four Festivals showcasing a wealth of local and national talent to create a spectacular autumn in Somerset.  More information about our ‘City of Festivals’ can be found here.

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Download Sermons

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Copies of recent sermons and talks are available in the ‘About Us’ section of the Cathedral’s website, including the most recent sermon given by The Revd Canon Dr Graham Dodds at Wells Cathedral on 9 July 2017 4th Sunday after Trinity: ‘Come to me and I shall give you rest’.

Copies of the most recent Cathedral monthly e-newsletter and Chapter Letter are also available.

Click here to access the ‘About Us’ section.

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Resources for Schools

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

An educational trip to Wells Cathedral can enhance pupils understanding of special places, inspirational buildings, historical events and Christian theology.

We are committed to making a Cathedral visit accessible to all UK school groups and offer two simple packages for school parties booking in advance:

Option 1

A shorter visit of around an hour at £1.80 per pupil. This can include a guided tour at no extra cost, subject to guide availability. We need at least two weeks’ notice.

Option 2

A programme with tour and activities at £3.90 per pupil. Day programmes involve staff and other spaces, for example, a guided tour on a theme of your choice, a related activity session led by the Cathedral Education Officer and use of the private lunch room, toilets and bag storage facilities.

Both options offer free places for accompanying staff (supervision 1:10 please). Prices are inclusive of VAT, payable through invoice.

Please Note: unbooked groups will be asked on the day for our suggestion donation i.e. adults £6, children £3.

Our beautiful oak-framed Education Suite has been specially designed to accommodate school groups. Its secure access provides a contained space that serves as a great base from which to explore the cathedral as part of a programmed day. It offers toilet facilities for children, cupboards for bags and coats and tables for crafts and/or lunch.

The ‘Schools’ pages on our website have more information about what packages we can offer and the benefits a visit to the Cathedral can bring.  Alternatively, our Cathedral Education Officer can be contacted directly by email at or on 01749 674483 Ext 212.

School visit

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Wells – City of Festivals

Friday, June 30th, 2017

October 2016 saw an inaugural cultural collaboration in Wells with four Festivals showcasing a wealth of local and national talent to create a spectacular autumn in Somerset.

At other times of the year the city plays host to a drama festival, a comedy festival, a film festival and a brilliantly illuminated carnival. Wells may be small, but it holds a proud place in the festival world. The city also boasts highly popular bi-weekly markets, regular craft fairs and a full season of events hosted by both here at the Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace.

Wells Festival of Literature

Taking place this year from 13th – 21st October, the Wells Festival of Literature operates annually over nine days every October with all events held in a comfortable marquee in the gardens of the spectacular Bishop’s Palace. The Festival’s main objective is to promote the enjoyment and excitement of books and to encourage a love of the written word. This is done by bringing to Wells a wide range of international, national and local writers to entertain, challenge, inspire and inform audiences of all ages and tastes.

Wells Food Festival

On Sunday 8 October, from 10.30 to 4.30, Wells Food Festival returns once again to celebrate the best of Somerset’s wonderful local produce. Last year’s one-day event had 150 stalls and attracted over 12,000 visitors.

 WAC – Wells Art Contemporary

Rewind – Exhibition   Saturday 8 – 21 October 2017  Open daily 10-6 pm

The WAC Awards is an open competition for contemporary visual art that has gained praise and respect in Britain and abroad. It was established five years ago by a group of artists and their friends in Wells.  WAC 2017 celebrates its fifth anniversary with an exhibition of new work by past winners in the Bishop’s Palace, Wells. The competition will return  in October 2018.

nmw- new music wells

The 2017 new music wells festival will take place from Sunday 15 – Thursday 19 October at Wells Cathedral. This year’s distinguished featured composer is Howard Skempton. His new choral works will be premiered by Wells Cathedral Choir on Thursday 19 October at the 5.15pm service of Choral Evensong. He will be in conversation with fellow composers for Composer Conversations with Lord (Michael) Berkeley CBE, host of BBC Radio 3’s ‘Private Passions’ at 2.30pm on Wednesday 18 October.

Admission to all nmw events is free.


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Saints Addresses during Evensong (July)

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

July sees a series of addresses here at the Cathedral on great saints, to be offered during Evensong by four clergy who will be joining us from across our diocese. We are inviting them to bring parties of parishioners with them and our programme is as follows:

9th July The Revd Rosey Lunn (Alham Vale Benefice) – St Benedict

16th July The Revd Tobie Osmond (St Thomas, Wells) – Raphael the Archangel

23rd July The Revd Dr Simon Bale (Bridgwater St Francis) – St Francis

30th July The Revd Preb. Noel Hector (Clevedon with Clapton in Gordano) – St Laurence

All welcome!

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Our Music Department says farewell to …

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

We would like to thank those who are leaving the Cathedral Music Foundation at the end of the academic year, and are deeply grateful to them for their commitment, dedication, hard work and marvellous music making.

Choristers Orla Donoghue, Harriet Perring, Henry Dukes and Hugh Latta are leaving the choir at the end of their choristerships. We are very grateful to them and their families for all that they have given to the choir and Cathedral.

Theo Golden, Counter Tenor Choral Scholar, will be studying music at Durham University; Oscar Golden-Lee, Tenor Choral Scholar is going to be a Choral Scholar at Lincoln Cathedral; William White, our Bass Choral Scholar, has secured a job with IBM in London.

James Kealey – our current Senior Organ Scholar – will also be moving to St Aloysius’ College in Glasgow to take up the post of Director of Choral Music from August this year. James will be kept busy in his exciting new role where he will be running the Schola programme at the College (a Jesuit Catholic School in the heart of Glasgow) as well as preparing the numerous choirs for services, concerts and other events.

We wish them all the best of luck for the future.

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Summer holiday free family ‘Have A Go’ creative workshops

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Wednesday 2nd August and Wednesday 23rd August

Our holiday creative workshops always prove popular and, over the summer holidays, we invite you to spend time with us for two sessions where you may not only learn a little more about the Cathedral but also test out your creative skills!

Wednesday 2 August, 10.30am – 12.00pm, then again from 2-3.30pm (Cathedral’s Education Room)

Our theme today is ‘Working with Paper. We’ll be having a go at origami (paper folding), kirigami (paper cutting), pop-up cards and mindfulness colouring. Our sessions are free of charge but donations welcome to cover the cost of materials

Wednesday 23rd August,  10.30am – 12.00pm, then again from 2-3.30pm (Cathedral’s Education Room)

Our theme for these sessions are ‘Shapes and Geometric Art’. Take part in a shapes trail around the Cathedral. Take inspiration from the Cathedral’s architecture and use compasses to create your own tracery window. Colour geometric patterns to take home!

These sessions are for children accompanied by their parents or guardians and are free of charge (although donations are gratefully received to cover the cost of materials).  No need to book; just turn up prepared to be busy!

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Cathedral Newsletters

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Monthly Newsletter

Click on the link below to download a copy of the monthly e-newsletter for Wells Cathedral which provides a summary of all service and events taking place in the forthcoming month:

Wells Cathedral July Newsletter 2017

If you would prefer to receive your newsletter automatically via email each month please follow the instructions on this page.

Weekly Chapter Letter

Click on the link below to download a copy of our weekly Chapter Letter which is also available, in printed form, in the nave of the Cathedral:

Weekly Chapter Letter, Sunday 23 July

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Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Check out our Job Vacancies page for details of job and volunteering opportunities available at the Cathedral.

Please click here for more information.

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Bach Complete Organ Works: Lunchtime Recitals

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

A bi-monthly series of organ recitals surveying the complete organ works of J.S. Bach over six years, played by Matthew Owens (Organist and Master of the Choristers, Wells Cathedral). Admission is free with a retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral Music.  All welcome!

Our next recital:

Thursday 13th July , 1.05 – 1.40pm


Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 536; Fugue in B minor, on a theme of Corelli, BWV 579;Trio in G minor, BWV 584;Toccata in E major, BWV 566; Chorale Preludes from the Neumeister Collection.


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