Our ‘Friends’ scheme

The Friends of Romsey Abbey Choir (FORAC) provides a more formal framework for supporting the choir financially and socially, making possible a range of activities that would be otherwise beyond its means.

The greatest single event in our calendar is the singing holiday, upon which we embark every summer. This takes us to a different Cathedral each year, where we sing services for a week, staying at a local boarding school. The daily pattern of concentrated rehearsals and singing to very high standards, along with visits to local tourist spots, moulds the choir as a strong team. Recent venues have included Peterborough (2007), Norwich (2006) Ripon (2005) and Durham (2004).

Sending a son off on the holiday is a significant financial commitment – some families have two boys in the choir at any one time choir – and so FORAC subsidises part of the accommodation costs for boys. As schools upgrade their facilities in recent years, however, they have increased their fees and the range of affordable accommodation within reach of many cathedrals has dwindled.

Fundraising throughout the year is thus more necessary than ever. Efforts get off to a flying start each year with the Epiphany Supper, a meal prepared and served by choir mums with military efficiency, which is followed by an choir entertainment. Cake sales, a Quiz Night and other activities also take place throughout the year.

FORAC events are organized by a hard-working committee, chaired by Harriet Lindsay. Its terms of reference are as follows:

  • To strengthen links with the church by encouraging the recruitment of non-singing members and by supporting parish initiatives.
  • To encourage social fellowship, by co-ordinating and organizing events, and by communicating through channels including Keynotes, Open Door and the Weekly Bulletin.
  • To achieve greater general awareness of the Choir of Romsey Abbey, by publicizing its activities via this web site and organizing singing visits to other locations, both within the diocese and further afield.
  • To support the choirmaster in all aspects of organization, by raising and managing funds in support of choir activities, and by providing a forum for discussion on related non-singing matters.

Friends are kept in touch with choir achievements and personal successes of its members by a newsletter each term, KeynotesThe current annual subscription to FORAC is £5.00.

Parish Church choirs of men and boys within the Church of England are increasingly rare – fewer than a hundred survive – and here in Romsey we believe that this asset should be safeguarded. If you are interested in joining, please contact us.