WITH reference to the article in the issue of your paper of February 9, and the relevant correspondence relating to the discontinuation of concerts in Winchester Cathedral on Saturday evenings, I wish to express the following views.

I am a totally blind person who is a member of the Winchester and District Talking Newspaper (which is now being recorded in the building housing the Hampshire Chronicle, and my father is one of the presenters of the Talking Newspaper).

My family has been resident in Winchester since June 1987, and I have been living independently as a tenant of A2Dominion (formerly Winchester and District Housing Association) since July 1995, and for most of the years that I have lived here, either with my family or on my own, I have regularly attended concerts in the Cathedral on Saturdays, and like other of your correspondents to the letter page, I am surprised and disappointed, not to say deeply concerned for myself and other disabled people living in the district, to learn of this potential development.

It would appear that the relevant concert organisers have been contacted with a view of not giving concerts in the Cathedral on Saturday evenings, even though the next concert by the Waynflete Singers is scheduled to take place on the evening of Saturday March 18.

I feel that this situation which if implemented will be nothing short of a disaster, not only to the cathedral but to that section of the public who attend the cathedral solely to enjoy good quality choral and orchestral concerts.

Such a move would not only deprive the Cathedral of a major source of income, and they need all the funds that they can raise in order to pay the services of the Clergy who conduct services in the building, but also to pay for administration, to pay those who provide music on a regular basis (the boy and girl choristers, the lay clerks and organists), and those who are employed to maintain this, the heart of the Diocese of Winchester as well as the city of Winchester.

Such a decision would not only reduce the Cathedral's income but would also deprive people from the enjoyment of music, such of which was composed for the Glory of God as well for the pleasure of men and women at the time of the composition of these works, mainly of which are settings of liturgical texts or of major works of Literature.

People like myself are not always in the fortunate position to have those they can rely on in order to take them to concerts, especially if public transport does not exist in their home area or does not run on a regular basis, including in the evening and at the weekend.

I personally feel that such a serious decision needs to be reconsidered at the earliest opportunity because if no action is taken then the consequences would be detrimental to a great number of people.

Andrew M Parker

Chesil Street


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