25,000 vaccinations celebrated at Salisbury

30th March 2021

It’s a double whammy for Salisbury Cathedral who on Saturday celebrated the 25,000th patient receiving their Covid vaccination in the nave and today have launched a digital album of classic music played during the vaccination sessions to raise funds for NHS Charities Together.

25,000  vaccinations delivered at Salisbury Cathedral

Over the weekend GPs from the Sarum South Primary Care Network started administering the second dose of covid vaccinations for the over 80s in Salisbury Cathedral – including John Conlin, pictured, their 25,000th patient – to the backdrop of soothing music played by the cathedral’s organists.

Since the clinics first opened in the cathedral in January, Salisbury’s Assistant Director of Music, John Challenger and Director of Music, David Halls have clocked up around 270 hours at the organ console.

More about the way cathedrals have opened as vaccination and test centres can be found here.

Now John Challenger and a small group of music specialists have recorded Salisbury Meditation – Music for the NHS, a digital album of classics played during the vaccination sessions.

The album goes on sale today and funds raised will go to NHS Charities Together, the membership body for 241 NHS charities that give £1 million every day to help our hospitals do more.

The album is a collaboration between John Challenger and award-winning classical music recording producer and engineer Andrew Mellor of AJM Productions Ltd.

It features sixteen tracks played by John on the Cathedral’s renowned Father Willis Organ. The album is being distributed by classical music specialist [PIAS] UK.

John Challenger, Assistant Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral said:

“Since we started playing for the vaccinations in January, we have felt a particularly close tie with NHS workers, volunteers, and patients coming in for their jabs. The response to the music has been incredible, so this is a chance for us to thank the NHS team for their heroic work”.

“Personally, it has been very moving to witness such an historic effort. Many of the patients who come in are already part of our congregation and community, and their vaccination provided their first outing in a very long time.

“There were tears. I think coming into this sacred building, having not heard ‘live’ music for so long, meant a lot to them, particularly hearing our beloved Father Willis organ once again. It has certainly marked a milestone in my life.”

Watch and listen to excerpts below, first we have Bach.

And below is Albinoni.