Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Appointment of new Director of Song Squad

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

The Chapter of Wells Cathedral is very pleased to announce that Naomi MacLeod-Jones has been appointed as the new Director of Song Squad.

The Acting Organist and Master of the Choristers, Jeremy Cole, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to secure Naomi as the new Song Squad Director at Wells Cathedral. Naomi’s wealth of experience both as a singer and as a teacher make her the ideal person to instil a love of singing in the members of our junior choir. We are looking forward to working with Naomi to build upon the strong foundations already in place, and to develop Song Squad in a number of directions. We are certain she will bring a great deal of enjoyment and inspiration to our youngest singers in the Cathedral.”

Naomi is a teacher and singer with a passion for inspiring young people to find their voices. She is a teaches at a primary school in Midsomer Norton where, in addition to her responsibilities as a classroom teacher, she leads a choir of fifty 8-11 year olds to whom she introduces a variety of musical genres, encouraging healthy singing habits along the way.  In addition to her teaching, Naomi continues to sing professionally.

Naomi said: “I cannot wait to begin working with Wells Cathedral’s Song Squad! I am greatly looking forward to exploring exciting repertoire, and supporting each child’s development as a singer.”

To find out more about the Song Squad, click here.

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Appointment of new Director of Music

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

The Chapter of Wells Cathedral is delighted to announce the appointment of Jeremy Cole as its new Director of Music

Advised by experts in choral music* and selecting from an impressive and international field of prospective candidates, Jeremy displayed a passion, drive, vision, with a quality of musicianship that led to a unanimous decision to appoint him.

Jeremy joined Wells Cathedral in September 2017 as its Assistant Organist; and has led the Cathedral’s internationally renowned choir since late November 2018, becoming Acting Organist and Master of the Choristers in September 2019. He has also taken on the role of Musical Director of the Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society.

Before joining Wells Cathedral Jeremy held positions at St Paul’s Knightsbridge and St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, where he was the principal organist, playing for all regular and special services, as well as concerts and special events, and worked as a conductor with its many vocal ensembles. . He combined this role with a busy freelance career as an organist, conductor and piano accompanist. While in London he was assistant conductor and accompanist of the Holst Singers, and worked regularly with leading choirs, and as a repetiteur for solo singers and instrumentalists.

The Dean of Wells, The Very Reverend Dr John Davies said: “Jeremy has been a huge asset to the Cathedral Choir since he was appointed. His personal style, skills and experience have begun to deliver the ‘happy excellence’ in the Choir that we are striving for here at Wells. Jeremy is a trusted colleague and a superb musician. We are all looking forward to working with him very much in his new role”.

The Head Master of Wells Cathedral School, Mr Alastair Tighe said: “I am delighted that Jeremy has been appointed. I look forward to working with him and the whole Cathedral Music Foundation to ensure the unique possibilities available to Choristers, pupils and the wider City and local community through the collaborative work of Wells Cathedral and Wells Cathedral School are enhanced as effectively as possible. Jeremy’s appointment heralds an exciting time in the development of music-making in Wells and in Somerset”.

Jeremy Cole said: “I am delighted to be appointed as Wells Cathedral’s new Director of Music. The Cathedral Choir has an enviable and richly deserved reputation for excellence which we will maintain and strive to enhance. I am looking forward to continuing to work with superb musicians and supportive colleagues here in Wells as we take the choir forward into the next stage of its life.”

Jeremy will be admitted to the Foundation at the Cathedral Eucharist at 9.45am on Sunday 12 January 2020.

*The Chapter was advised by Mr Timothy Noon, Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral and by Mr Hugh Morris, Director of the Royal School of Church Music.

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Farewell to WCCT Chairman, Dr Jenny Kingston

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

At their recent meeting, trustees of the Wells Cathedral Chorister Trust, took the opportunity to thank Dr Jenny Kingston for all the work she has done both as a Trustee and Chairman, as she stepped down from the role. During her tenure, Jenny initiated the Wells Angels fundraising campaign, introduced many changes which will help the Trust thrive in the future, built a strong team of Trustees, and undertook personal fundraising initiatives which included the recent successful Coast to Coast Walk.

The Cathedral and community said thank you and goodbye to Jenny in a presentation following the St Andrew’s Day service on Saturday. Arnold Wills, a former chorister and Wells Cathedral chorister parent, will be taking over as the new Chairman of the trust.

Visit the Wells Cathedral Chorister Trust website to find out more.

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Wells Cathedral chosen as ‘England’s finest Cathedral’

Friday, November 29th, 2019

Following the report released on 26 November by the Church of England (‘Record numbers of visitors and worshippers flock to England’s cathedrals‘), an article was published in the Guardian, written by Simon Jenkins, listing what he thinks are England’s finest cathedrals – and at the number one position was Wells Cathedral.

Here’s what Simon had to say about Wells:

“Its sculpted west front glows incomparably in the sunset, its giant scissor arches uplift its crossing, and its column capitals offer an encyclopedia of medieval life. Wells also boasts the most serene chapter house anywhere.”

Read the full article here.

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Winter Warmers: hot topics for cool minds

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

Some religious issues won’t go away but go on hotly stirring up questions. In the first weeks of Advent, a short three-week course has been arranged to explore some well-known problems and to try to bring to them cool clarity. Meetings will be held in the Chapter Room on Tuesday evenings between 6:15pm and 7:15pm, each led by a member of the Cathedral clergy:

Each session will comprise a short introduction, followed by discussion in small groups and open discussion. Everyone interested is welcome to come, to all or any of the three sessions. No preparation is needed – the only requirement is a cool inquiring mind.

Professor David Thomas, Canon Theologian

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Christmas lunches

Monday, November 25th, 2019

This Christmas, come and join us for one of our traditional Christmas Lunches, on either Wednesday 11 or Thursday 12 December. These meals will be served in the stunning Medieval Vicars’ Hall – a perfect way to get you in the festive spirit!

To find out more, to look at the menu and to book your place, click here.

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Wells Cathedral: Climate Change Commitment

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

On Monday 18 November, Wells Cathedral held a public conference on Climate Change, after which the Dean of Wells, The Very Revd Dr John Davies, gave the following statement:

“The Cathedral, its Chapter and community, are radically committed to making environmental concerns central to all its decisions. At present we work hard to be energy efficient, to limit our use of plastic, to recycle, to make our land attractive, and wherever possible to use sustainable, locally-produced produce in catering. However, we are aware that more can be done.

To assist us we have registered with the A Rocha Eco Church scheme and are determined to reduce our carbon footprint, to use more environmentally friendly products, to make our land welcoming to birds and insects, to engage more with local environmental groups and to encourage worshippers to become aware of how they too can make a difference. When we have reached our preliminary targets we will be able to apply for a Bronze Eco Church Award, but eventually we hope to reach silver standard or, ideally, gold.”


To find out more about what you can be doing to help, read One Home‘s top ten tips for tackling climate change here.

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Theology at Wells

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Cathedrals were originally places of sacred learning.

Indeed most of them, including Wells, have ancient libraries, where the creative relationship between faith and study was worked out in each generation.


Education is key in our mission and thus the ‘Theology@Wells’ programme employs a wide range of educational methods to attract different people at different levels.

Click on the icons below for more details:







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Chained Library Tours: book here

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Wells Cathedral has one of the few chained libraries in Britain and is not generally open to the public.

It is especially attractive as it is still in its original location built in the 1450s, although the current bookshelves and chains are 17th Century. The Chained Library houses books published before 1800 which were collected by the canons in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, reflecting their wide-ranging intellectual interests.

Please allow one and a half hours for this popular tour. Be aware that access is by a stone spiral staircase and may not be suitable for those with mobility problems.

How to book:

Various dates and times are available. Places do need to be pre-booked via Eventbrite here. Maximum tour numbers apply.

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High Parts Tours: book here

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

“If you’re reading this go online and book the high parts tour… it’s a fascinating 90 min tour of the upper areas of the cathedral … you won’t be disappointed!” (TripAdvisor feedback)

Climb the spiral staircase to walk in the footsteps of Wells Cathedral masons with new behind-the-scenes tours of Wells Cathedral’s High Parts; one of the most memorable things to do in Wells!

Click here to book your place on this hugely popular one and a half hour tour of the Cathedral’s hidden spaces at height!

Access is via spiral staircases and booking terms and conditions apply.

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