Winchester Cathedral has moved to reassure people over the alleged crisis affecting its music-making.

The Chronicle has reported concerns raised by former choristers that the cathedral's reputation is at risk following the impending departure of director of music Andy Lumsden at the end of July.

In a letter supported by 115 people, Edward Bagnall, chairman of the Winchester Cathedral Old Choristers Association, said: "The Dean and Chapter must have considered that the impact on the Cathedral's great music tradition would potentially be disastrous. No one remotely up to the standard of Dr Lumsden will take on a permanent position at Winchester if the present structure remains in place."

Mr Bagnall also raised concerns about bullying behaviour towards Dr Lumsden.

Winchester CathedralWinchester Cathedral (Image: Sophie Parr)

Meetings were held with parents of boy and girl choristers as well as the lay clerks, adult members of the choir.

The statement in full: "We share the passion expressed by Mr Bagnall and the choristers, among others, for ensuring continued excellence in the choral tradition at Winchester Cathedral, for now and in the future. 

"We recognise and are grateful for Andy Lumsden's outstanding contribution over the past 22 years, and we can understand the concerns expressed around his departure. We are sorry that our communication around this has not been clearer, and we are taking steps to review and rectify this. We have already started by engaging more closely with those directly impacted and reassuring them that we have the resources available to realise our vision of continued musical excellence.

READ MORE HERE: Fears for future of choral music at Winchester Cathedral

"Regarding allegations of bullying and coercive management, we want to be clear that we take the fair treatment and safeguarding of all our staff seriously and any concerns are handled with the proper care and due process. Our staff and choristers are aware of the internal safeguarding support available should they have any complaints, including our whistleblowing policy, and anyone else can follow the available safeguarding procedures as found on our website ( 

"Whatever the circumstances of any of our employees, we will always respect their confidentiality and privacy. This is in line with our values, and we will always uphold them. "