Every year the monks from Downside Abbey go to Wells Cathedral to sing Latin Vespers as part of our observance of Christian Unity Week. Last Sunday the men’s choir sang Evensong at Downside, and this was the return visit.

Wells Cathedral was never a Benedictine foundation, but we have long had good relations with the clergy there and Downside folklore says that the Wells choir even sang at the consecration of the Old Chapel in 1823 (although we can’t find any clear reference to it at the moment).

As always the virgers and clergy at the cathedral were very welcoming, and we are grateful to Jim Moretti in the Wells Liturgy Office, who prepared the congregation’s booklet. A similar form of Vespers would have been sung each day in Wells Cathedral before the Reformation, and so this would also have been a blast from the past, a service that many of those buried in the cathedral grounds would have recognised.

Downside Abbey is open everyday and all are welcome to join the community for offices. Click here to find out the service times for the Abbey Church.