For three action packed days, the Bath Abbey Girls’ Choir toured Holland and Belgium. These were the record- breaking heatwave days, when Europe melted in the sun, but these 24 intrepid girls none the less donned their cassocks with courage, again and again, and sang for hours, filling and refilling water bottles, taking care of one another like the incredible team that they are. Over three long, hot and demanding days, we chaperones watched the team of girls grow closer, as older and younger girls shared stories. We listened to gales of laughter, and laughed ourselves – it was an incredibly joyous, hilarious trip. We saw confidence levels rise, and time and again, heard the choir sing with one voice, filling the vast space around them with jaw dropping beauty.
We flew from Bristol to Amsterdam, then travelled to Wijk bij Duurstede where the choir sang choral evensong in the Grote Kerk. From there, we travelled on to Utrecht for dinner and thence to Tilburg, where we spent the night. On Sunday the choir sang for Choral Eucharist at St Janskathedraal Den Bosch, and received a spontaneous round of applause, followed by some shopping, a tour of the Bosch museum and a river trip in the afternoon. On this river trip, in a long underground tunnel, the choir burst into spontaneous song. (See our social media)
Our final day, Monday, was spent mostly in Antwerp, where the choir held a beautiful concert in the vast and stunning St Paulsuskerk – and received a standing ovation. Time for one last ice cream and then we were back on the coach, heading for Amsterdam and home.
If you get the chance, come and hear our girls’ choir, they are quite remarkable!
Written by Cath Candish, Bath Abbey Curate