Sam Stollery, Senior Chorister, describes his choir holiday

The view from the end of Cantoris

With the planning and arrangements taking four years, the Millennium trip to Canterbury Cathedral was well worth the lengthy preparation.

Our first steps off the minibus were at Canterbury Cathedral. When we saw how large and impressive it was, we knew we were in for a good sing. We arrived at Ursuline College and it was as grand as the Cathedral and quite different from anywhere we have stayed before. After the journey and the exhausting trip to the top floor dormitory, the boys had good reason to sleep soundly in their bunks.

Tuesday afternoon’s outing was a trip to the Spitfire and Hurricane museums at RAF Manston. We saw an original Hurricane plane and other exhibits to do with World War Two.

Choristers take a break before Evensong

That night was our first service in the Cathedral. I think the whole choir – including the Choirmaster – was nervous, and desperately keen to give the right first impression to the Dean and the Congregation.

The next day’s trip was to Dover Castle where we learned what it had been used for over hundreds of years. The adults appreciated the wonderful view. That night the service went very well – most of the choir had got used to the routine and appreciated the time and effort put in to getting us there had not gone to waste.

By now the boys had found every table football game, pool table and table tennis table in the whole building plus the normal football matches most nights. We had plenty to entertain us.

We spent most of Thursday on Westgate beach – relaxing, making sandcastles and the odd game of rugby and frisbee. In the evening, the service was mens voices only, so the boys had a night of games and activities organised by Graham and Diane Brown. At this point, all the boys would like to thank Graham and Diane for supervising the event. It was great fun and we all hope we can do it again next year!

Friday’s trip on a miniature railway from Romney Hythe via Dymchurch to Dungeness. where we got off to explore the old lighthouse and take in the view. The service that night went extremely well which gave us high hopes for the three big services coming up at the weekend.

Saturday’s historical trip was to a Roman Museum in the City of Canterbury which was built on top of Roman ruins. The museum had many ‘hands-on’ activities which most of us thoroughly enjoyed. Later on, the choir went swimming at the local swimming pool. I think Dick Hewett deserves a big thank-you from the choir and supporters for organising this and other choir holiday trips.

The choir’s performance during Saturday’s service had to be the best of the week and one we will proudly remember for a long time. I would like to thank Mike Roland for taking care of the music and Jeff for his musical guidance. Their help enabled the Choir to come away from the Cathedral on the Sunday, having sung well, knowing that we had done our best and left a good impression with the Canterbury Cathedral Clergy and congregation.