60 years ago today, Coventry Cathedral was consecrated. The first organist of the new cathedral was David Lepine, who was Organist & Choirmaster for my entire 6 years as a chorister, and my first organ teacher, my hero – to whom I probably owe my musical career. I didn’t join the choir until several years after the consecration, but I ‘inherited’ this copy of the order of service from David Lepine when he died in 1972.
The order of service is a very high quality booklet of over 100 pages, with red and black text, and a rather fine gold on the front cover.
The consecration took place over 2 days, the main event being 25th May attended by the Queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and loads of others – all listed in the Processions. The new choir of Coventry Cathedral led the service, but were joined by choirs from the Cathedrals of Birmingham, Gloucester, Leicester, Lichfield, Oxford, Peterborough and Worcester. The two organists for the day were Dr John Dykes Bower, Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral, and Sir William McKie, Organist of Westminster Abbey.
The following day was a smaller service of Holy Communion, attended by Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon and the Archbishop of York. And the organist for the day was Dr Harold Darke, then Organist of St Michael’s, Cornhill, and composer of the Communion Setting sung that day, Darke in F.
Sadly I missed a 60th anniversary re-union of ex-choristers last weekend, as I had rehearsals for Acis and Galatea (see last post). But I’m sure there’s celebration today.
Happy Anniversary Coventry Cathedral.