Our second visit to this beautiful place began with a leisurely lunch in the refectory, followed by a rehearsal in the song school, as before. The magic only began when we moved out to the choir stalls: perhaps we were less overawed than previously, or perhaps we knew the music better, but there can be no doubt that our voices grew in power and assurance to fill that great space, and we made a joyful noise that echoed to the roof vaults far above us. In honour of Her Majesty’s birthday the introit was ‘The Queen shall rejoice’, composed for the coronation of Queen Anne in 1702 by William Turner. The sang the Smith responses, and we sang Psalm 46 to a chant written for the occasion by our very own James Cryer.

The service was by Lt. William Denis Browne, who had been organ scholar at Clare College, Cambridge. He was killed in France at the age of 27 exactly 101 years ago. It was chosen by Richard both for the quality of the music and as a tribute to a young life so tragically cut short. Denis Browne’s great-nephew was in the congregation to hear it.

The anthem was ‘Do not be afraid’ by Philip Stopford, which has become a choir favourite in recent months, and indeed has become an ear-worm to some of us.

Grateful thanks are due to our director of music, Richard Lyne, and organist James Cryer. Thanks also to the many members of the All Saints congregation and choir parents who took the trouble to come and listen to us, and to the cathedral staff, who as before were welcoming and helpful in every way.