The choir's primary role is to sing daily services in the Cathedral, but the choir also undertakes a busy annual schedule of concerts, broadcasts, tours, and recordings.


Centuries of choral tradition

King Henry VIII established the Collegiate Foundation in 1546, including one Organist and eight Lay Clerks, plus provision for a schoolmaster to educate the choristers. In the last five hundred years, the choir has always been a central part of Christ Church; and many significant church musicians have been associated with it, from the first director of music John Taverner, to twentieth-century choristers and composers William Walton, Simon Preston and Howard Goodall.

Now the choral foundation consists of approximately sixteen Choristers (boys), educated at the Cathedral School; plus six Lay Clerks (professional adult singers) and six Academical Clerks (undergraduate choral scholars), in addition to the Director of Music (who bears the official historic title of ‘Organist’), the Sub-Organist, and one or two Organ Scholars. 

Find out more about joining the Cathedral Choir

Services with the choir

The normal weekly pattern of services for the Cathedral Choir is as follows:

11am: Sung Eucharist 
6pm: Evensong

6pm: Evensong

6pm: Evensong

The 6pm service on Monday does not usually involve the Cathedral Choir.

Peter Holder, new organist of Christ Church, sits at the wooden console of the Rieger Organ.

Director of Music

Peter Holder, Sub Organist of Westminster Abbey, will soon be joining the House as Organist. This year, the role has been fulfilled by Emeritus Professor Stephen Darlington. Stephen was formerly Organist and Tutor in Music at Christ Church, until his retirement in July 2018 after 33 years in post. He has returned as Interim Director of Music from January to July 2024.



Recordings of Choral Evensong at the Cathedral are often recorded and available to watch via YouTube.  

Christ Church Cathedral YouTube channel
The choirs and orchestra performing Bach in the Cathedral


The Cathedral Choir repertoire ranges from Renaissance polyphony to new commissions, embracing European baroque and Romantic, English Victorian, and contemporary music. In recent years, music has been commissioned from Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Piers Connor Kennedy and Ghislaine Rees-Trapp. Annual high points include Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, performed on All Souls’ Day, and the JS Bach St John Passion, performed in Holy Week.