Home  |  Calendar  |  Safeguarding  |  News  |  Documents  |  Find a Church

A composition to mark two sixtieth birthdays

Date: 18 November 2021

Writing a new setting of the Mass for choir and organ was Bishop Andrew’s way of celebrating his and Guildford Cathedral’s sixtieth birthdays.

“There can’t be many occasions in history when a Bishop and a Cathedral have hit the same big birthday at the same time,” he says: “and the idea of writing this music came to me during my study-leave back in the spring. It’s a kind of ‘Diamond Mass’, perhaps [to celebrate those shared 60th celebrations] – or maybe a ‘Mass in Time of Covid’ as the restrictions on singing are lifted at last!”

Bishop Andrew’s father was a professional musician, and Andrew seriously considered following in his footsteps, playing in the National Youth Orchestra as a young teenager and becoming a music exhibitioner during his years studying Law at Cambridge University. He was a keen composer as a teenager, and has occasionally returned to composition since then, notably writing a choral setting of George Herbert’s poem “Love made me welcome” for his consecration. 

“Music has the power to move and touch people at the deepest level”, he says, “and my prayer is that this setting might be both accessible and inspiring, casting a fresh light on these most wonderful and familiar texts”. 

Katherine Dienes-Williams, the organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral, is looking forward to conducting Bishop Andrew’s setting of the Mass in the Cathedral's 9.45am Eucharist on Sunday 21st November – the festival of Christ the King.

We hope to be able to share a recording of the Mass after Sunday, so do watch this space.

Powered by Church Edit