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Guildford Cathedral Singers


Guildford Cathedral Singers (GCS) is a mixed-voice choir established in the early 1980s by the Cathedral Music Department.  Throughout the year they sing about twenty services both Eucharist and Evensong and occasionally a special service. Once a term they combine forces with the Cathedral Choir under the combined direction of the Cathedral Organist and Master of the Choristers, and their own Musical Director.  For the choir, the opportunity to sing some of the finest sacred music within the liturgical context for which it was intended, in the spacious surroundings of Guildford Cathedral, is both a pleasure and a privilege. 

GCS rehearses on the Friday evening preceding each service, from 7.45pm to 9.45pm. There is also a short practice immediately before the service. Music is distributed about two weeks in advance so that it can be prepared beforehand. 

GCS is available to sing for weddings and other special services in the Guildford area. Please contact the Musical Director for more information.

GCS is one of a number of voluntary choirs which support their Cathedrals. The Association of Cathedral Voluntary Choirs draws them all together with a Festival hosted by one of the member choirs roughly once every eighteen months. In May 2018 it was Guildford's turn to host the Festival and a choir of over 90 singers led the worship at a Festal Evensong and Eucharist.


If you are interested in singing with the Guildford Cathedral Singers, and you are an experienced choral singer with good sight-reading skills, regularly available about once a month on a Friday evening and a Sunday morning, the Musical Director would be pleased to hear from you. There is an audition (PDF) before you can become a member of the choir, but you are welcome to come and join us at one of our rehearsals first, before committing yourself further. Email John Bawden, Musical Director, for further details.

John Bawden

Photograph of John Bawden

Musical Director of the Guildford Cathedral Singers

Guildford Cathedral

John Bawden, MMus, LTCL, was appointed Musical Director of the Guildford Cathedral Singers in 2009. He has had a wealth of experience directing a wide variety of choirs, ranging from large choral societies to chamber choirs. A former member of Guildford Cathedral Choir, John then worked as a freelance deputy singer with a number of professional choirs, including those of Winchester Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

Committee Members

  • Chairman: Rachel Young
  • Vice-Chairman: Philip Pratley
  • Musical Director: John Bawden
  • Organist: Cathedral Organ Scholar
  • Secretary: Jenny West
  • Treasurer: Martin Dakin
  • Librarian and Cathedral Liaison: Trish Lambert
  • Membership Secretary: Chris Syner
  • Visits' Secretary: Pauline Read
  • Committee Member in charge of robes: Marie Collins