Bath Abbey Boys and Lay Clerks Tour to Paris May 24-27

Thank you to everyone who supported our recent tour to Paris. The Boys and Lay Clerks had a wonderful trip singing at the glorious St Sulpice Church (where Widor and Dupre were organists) and St Eustache during the Sunday worship. We also combined with a French boys choir, Maitrise de Stanislas.

Our tour organiser Nicolas, father of one of our choristers, was a member of this choir and it was a great opportunity for our boys to make friends with French children who share their passion for singing. We had a joint concert at Notre-Dame des Champs and sang Evensong in their beautiful underground Chapel Notre Dame sous terre in Stanislas School. (We also had a combined football match!). We were welcomed with great warmth by this choir and are grateful to them for the lovely lunch and time we shared together.

Clergy and the congregation at St Sulpice and St Eustache were delighted to have us singing at their Sunday worship which were all well attended with large congregations and it was heartening to be invited back to both place! Usually their services don’t have choirs leading them, though they do have amazing organs leading the worship. The organ at St Sulpice, in particular, is one of the most famous and outstanding organs in the world – I would recommend visiting here!

The choirs sang magnificently singing music by Byrd, Tallis, Faure, Schubert, Bairstow and Stopford. We enjoyed a boat trip on the Seine , climbed Montparnasse tower, visited the Museum of Illusions walked past many sights including the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Thank you to Bath Abbey Music Society for supporting this trip and to our fabulous chaperones: Mary, Simon, Hannah, Lisa and Nicolas for ensuring the boys had a happy and safe time. I’m really grateful to Nicolas who organised this tour with great precision and care.

Thank you also to Great Western Railway for supporting our journey to London as part of this trip. The boys behaved with great dignity and professionalism and I’m grateful to the Lay Clerks for offering their time to make this a memorable and special trip. We returned tired but with great shared memories.

We have invited the Maitrise de Stanislas to visit us in Bath, so hopefully this is the beginning of a new friendship!

Huw Williams

Director of Music