Girls join the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir for the first time

Girls have officially become full choristers at St Paul’s Cathedral for the first time.

The children, who are only being named as Lila, 11, and Lois, 10, took part in the final preparations for Sunday’s Choral Evensong service.

It will be the first time in its 900 year history that girls will officially be a full part of the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir.

Girl choristers join St Pauls Cathedral Choir
Choristers Lila, 11 and Lois (right), 10, at St Paul’s Cathedral in London (Tim Anderson/PA)

Lila and Lois are now being “made up” to full membership after having been probationers in training within the choir since September 2023.

There were all smiles on Saturday as they got to try on their surplice, which is the white gown they wear atop their black cassocks, ahead of Sunday’s big event.

The move means the girl choristers are becoming permanent members of the cathedral choir and will play an equal part in the singing of services as well as at events of national importance.

Girl choristers join St Pauls Cathedral Choir
Bishop of London Sarah Mullaly with choristers Lois, 10, and Lila (right), 11, at St Paul’s Cathedral (Tim Anderson/PA)

Dame Sarah Mullally, the first female Bishop of London, attended the rehearsal.

The Bishop previously welcomed the decision to allow girls into the choir, saying: “The choir plays a key role in the worship not just of the Cathedral, but of the whole diocese.

“It will be wonderful to hear girls’ voices contributing to this.”

Girl choristers join St Pauls Cathedral Choir
Choristers Lila (left), 11 and Lois, 10 (Tim Anderson/PA)

The announcement was made in May 2022 that girls were set to join the choir and that the Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral School would “undertake the practical arrangements needed to provide a truly equal offer for girl and boy choristers”.

Plans included a fundraising campaign and to ensure the Cathedral’s scholarship programme could be delivered equally to boys and girls.

At the time the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison, said: “It has been a long-held ambition to introduce girls’ voices into the Cathedral Choir at St Paul’s.

“Doing this will create an exceptional new music opportunity for young people and will further enhance the contribution of our highly valued and much-loved choir to the worship life of the Cathedral and the heritage of the nation.”