Welcome to the Chichester Cathedral Choristers' Association (CCCA). The Association was founded in 1977 by Richard Cock with a view to bringing together past and current Choristers and the musical staff of the Cathedral.
The Association also has a Scholarship Trust Fund which, as a registered charity, offers four Chorister bursaries.
Latest News & Events
We congratulate John Attwater (CCCA Chairman) on his appointment as the next Principal of King's Ely as from August 2019. Our next event will be the Summer Reunion. Please watch this space for further details and for the Spring 2019 CCCA newsletter in your email in-box.
|History of the CCCA|
|Patron:||The Lord Bishop of Chichester|
|President:||The Dean of Chichester|
|Vice Presidents:||Richard Cock Esq., Dr Alan J Thurlow & Jeremy L Suter Esq.|
|Hon. Chaplain:||Rev'd David Burton Evans|
The Origins of the CCCA
"In 1975 for the 900th anniversary of Chichester Cathedral, many old Choristers attended events and I was amazed that there was no association to organise events for them - it was all a little haphazard. I spoke to John Birch and he said go ahead and try to organise a summer reunion - I got the feeling it had been tried before without success.
I was a lay vicar at the time, but interested in the idea of getting people together - it was obvious that there was a great love of the Cathedral and of the tradition and of John Birch. So I roped in help from various people who had names and addresses and with the help of the Banda machine, sent out letters. The thing snowballed and after a year or so we had a small committee to help: David Graebe, Michael Waterhouse, Alex Villiers.
Meg and Hoppy Reid, who were great supporters, did the catering, Anne Eyre later did it, Joe Croney supplied sherry and wine. It was really a very homegrown effort - but very successful and on a very small budget - mostly mine!!
The format was basically a summer gathering once a year. I had tried and made contact with the larger organisation of Chorister Societies. The Clergy and staff were always very helpful - we used John Birch's garden and for the last one I did we tagged onto the Southern Cathedrals Festival and used their facilities."
Richard Cock | Former Chorister, lay vicar & Assistant Organist
Former Choristers of the Cathedral Choir are, by right, members of the Association. Parents, other relatives of Choristers and anyone with a close association with the Choir may be eligible for Associate Membership. To become an Associate member, please fill out the Membership Pack.
To contact the CCCA, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Ros Craven||Hon. Secretary|
|Charles Harrison||Organist & Master of Choristers|
|David Burton Evans||CCCA Chaplain|
John Attwater has been Headmaster of King Edward's School, Witley, Surrey since January 2010. Born in Rutland, he attended The Prebendal School where he was a Cathedral Chorister, before winning a scholarship to Rugby School. After a Gap year spent teaching in a tiny Yorkshire prep school, he read PPE at Oxford, gaining a First. Teacher training in History followed at York University, and then after some time back in Oxford he took a temporary post at Wells Cathedral School prior (he thought) to joining the Civil Service. Ten years later he was still there running the Religious Studies Department and a senior boys' boarding house, and married.
CCCA Chairman (Chorister 1981-1985)
In December 2005 he, Victoria and their two-week-old daughter moved to Sevenoaks School where he became Deputy Head. Sevenoaks gave him his first experience of the IB Diploma, now the sole Sixth Form curriculum at King Edward's. At Sevenoaks, he also led the planning for a £12m Performing Arts Centre which opened in April 2010.
John Attwater is a governor of two schools (including The Prebendal School) and on the Advisory Board of The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation. His other interests include reading, cricket, his family (now number two daughters) and restoring their farmhouse in Wales.
CCCA Honorary Secretary
Ros is the chorister parent of Philip Craven (1995-1999).
CCCA Treasurer (Chorister 1967-1971)
Born in Lydd, Kent, Howard Jenner was a Chorister at Chichester in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and was a proud member of The Prebendal School football and cricket teams. He still plays football, trying to relive the glory days of matches against Oakwood and Great Ballard. His cricket developed a little further peaking in an appearance as wicket-keeper in a Sussex v Kent 2nd XI match at Hastings, where the opposition keeper was one of The Prebendal's finer sportsmen, Tim Head.
Married with two daughters, he has lived in Twyford since 1987, jogs half marathons fairly regularly and completed the London Marathon in 2013. Having not sung for many years, he has recently joined the Reading Phoenix Choir where he attempts to make up for a shortage of tenors. In an effort to encourage the continuation of the tradition of choral music, he now runs the Walter Hussey Composition Competition.
Organiser & Master of the Choristers
Charles began his musical training as a chorister at Southwell Minster, and went on to study music at the University of Cambridge, serving as Organ Scholar at Jesus College. Before coming to Chichester in 2014, he held posts at Carlisle and Lincoln Cathedrals, and the Queen's University, Belfast.
Charles is a prize winner at two international organ competitions (St Albans and Odense, Denmark), and gives solo performances around Europe. For further information on Charles, please click here.
A History of the CCCA
Before the CCCA was started by Richard Cock in the 1970s, past Choristers used to meet in a back room at The Ship Hotel in North Street for lunch prior to the carol service that was held on the Sunday after Christmas. That tradition died out when the carol service moved to before Christmas.
Some members camped out one year when the Southern Cathedrals Festival (SCF) was at Chichester. They set up tents on the tennis courts, which is rumoured that Barry Marsh organised and got permission from Bernard Bate, the then Headmaster.
The first official reunion was in 1976. This was a get together to see if enough past Choristers were interested in joining an Old Choristers' Association and much to John Birch's (the Organist & Master of the Choristers) surprise, there were! The Dean and Chapter helped pump prime the fledging association by granting a loan of £200 that helped fund the purchase of old Chorister ties. The Association was called the Chichester Choristers' Association which was later changed to the Chichester Cathedral Choristers' Association (CCCA) to make it more specific. Originally, the word 'Old' was also inserted however this was removed as it was felt that it ostracised the current members of the choir and made it sound like an 'old boys club' which was not the idea!
In the early days, before the Bell Rooms or Cloisters Cafe, the Summer Reunion used to be held in various parts of the Close, often at The Deanery. One year, the lades in the Close went raspberry picking for the reunion lunch which was one of those held in The Deanery on a balmy day, so everyone ate on the lawn by the Ha Ha. We currently hold our reunion on Advent Eve at 6pm.
Chris Hamel-Cooke had links with Guildford Cathedral and so this led to a number of Beer and Skittles challenges at pubs that lay between Guildford and Chichester.
Since the 1990s, when the CCCA expanded its membership to include current Chorister parents, the Beer and Skittles evening changed to an in-house event. We tried out a number of venues locally before finding the Four Chestnuts in The Hornet a few years ago, which serves our needs very well. We usually have around 30 taking part in this event which has been won in recent years by the parents but we are hopeful of a past Chorister win before too long.
In the 1990s, there were a number of changes made to the Association. Not only was the name changed but the Committee saw its role as being wider than a forum for past Choristers to meet up and reminisce. The CCCA began to try and support the current Foundation in a number of ways; we started to sponsor the Organ Recital when the SCF was at Chichester, include current Chorister parents in reunions, increase the merchandise to include a separate Associate member's tie available to non-Choristers and cufflinks and lapel badges for ladies. This increased activity led to the setting up of the Scholarship Trust Fund.
There have been five Chairmen to date:
|Richard Cock||1973 - 1980|
|Michael Waterhouse||1980 - 1990|
|Chris Hamel-Cooke||1990 - 2001|
|David Ruffer||2001 - 2017|
|John Attwater, the current Chairman||2017 -|
CCCA Honorary Secretaries
|Richard Cock - Joint Chairman/Secretary (Assistant Organist)||1973 - 1980|
|Jeremy Suter (Assistant Organist)||1981 - 1991|
|Alan Gurney||1991 - 1993|
|David Gutteridge||1993 - 2000|
|Howard Trundell||2000 - 2003|
|Fiona Bell||2003 - 2006|
|Barbara Willis||2006 - 2008|
|Dily Ruffer||2008 - 2011|
|Dily Ruffer - Events Secretary||2011 - 2017|
|Liz Alder - Minutes Secretary||2011 - 2015|
|Ros Craven||2017 -|
History of the Choir
The Chichester Cathedral Choir is particularly noted for the beautiful and gentle tone which it produces in the sympathetic acoustic of the Cathedral.
The statutes at Chichester provide 18 trebles and six lay vicars. The Choristers and probationers are educated here at The Prebendal School where, as well as their singing, Choristers learn the piano and an orchestral instrument, spending at least 18 hours a week on musical performance. The lay vicars are all professional singers.
On stage, the Choir has appeared with artists as diverse as Petula Clark, Richard Stilgoe, the King's Singers, the Cambridge Buskers, the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and Cantabile. Television appearances have included Placido Domingo's Christmas Choice and Rumpole of The Bailey. In 1985, their recording of Cathedral Music by Geoffrey Burgon won a Critics' Choice of the Year award in Gramophone magazine.
The Choir regularly tours abroad, and in recent years has visited France, Northern Bavaria (Bamberg, Bayreuth, Nurenberg and Wurzburg), and makes frequent visits to Chartres. In Spring 2005, the Choir made a hugely successful tour to South Africa and in March 2010 the Choir visited and performed in Berlin.
For more information on the Cathedral Choir, please visit the Cathedral website.