Trouble in the Church (1): Wakefield fires up again

Norman Lebrecht

05 May 2024

The Anglican cathedral, which has lost its last music director amid allegations of abuse, has suspended three choristers.

A respected parishioner informs that her 13-year-old grandson “decided to give up his chorister duties due to victimization and a toxic culture at Wakefield Cathedral”.

Other sources report:

– One boy was suspended under investigation and not told what he did wrong (something to do with kissing Jesus’ feet on Good Friday, we hear).
– The boy’s carers have now received “emails” and have been told they are not relevant.
– The choir has shuffled the high lines due to dwindling numbers and cannot do boys-only or girl-only services.
– More than two thirds of the choristers have left. None have joined since early 2023.
– The Dean, who has overall safeguarding responsibility for all members of the cathedral, does not respond to complaints.
– The new Precentor claims to know nothing about the suspensions, although the pastoral responsibility for the choir members rests with him.
– The director of operations left after a year in office.
– Leeds Diocese Safeguarding Group investigates ‘safeguarding failures’ at cathedral using most senior staff.

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