Festival of Evensong – Bristol Cathedral

04th October 2023

Bristol Cathedral is opening its doors for a Festival of Evensong next week celebrating the music and liturgy that has inspired thousands in song and prayer through the centuries. 

What is Choral Evensong? Find out here.

Festival of Evensong at Bristol Cathedral begins on Monday 9th October

Evensong has been sung in Bristol Cathedral nearly every day since 1542. While the words said or sung have barely changed in that time, composers in each generation have found afresh new ways to interpret those words through music.

Starting Monday 9 October Evensong will be sung every weekday at 5.15pm by the Cathedral Choir, the Choristers, the Consort, and the Lay Clerks.

Each Evensong will take music from a different era, starting on Monday in the 21st century sung by the full Cathedral Choir, and ending in music from the Reformation on Friday sung by the six Lay Clerks.

There will be there a series of free talks, recitals, and services and a specially-curated interactive trail around the Cathedral including a virtual organ tour guided by Bristol Cathedral’s Master of the Choristers and Organist, Mark Lee.

Mark said:

“Choral Evensong has been at the heart of our sung worship in Bristol Cathedral since the 16th century, and continues to be offered by our choristers and lay clerks, successors to and custodians of this glorious tradition. Come and experience the tranquillity of this very special part of our shared history.”

The Dean of Bristol, the Very Revd Dr Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol, said:

“Choral Evensong provides a window onto heaven, as awe inspiring music and singing echo around the Cathedral building. We invite everyone to come and experience space for contemplation and an opportunity to enjoy sights and sounds of timeless beauty.”

The Festival of Evensong concludes on Sunday 15 October with a celebratory Festal Evensong at 3.30pm, but Evensong can still be attended thereafter nearly every day in the Cathedral.

All events are free.

You can find a full list of festival services and events here.