New Canon Precentor arrives

by Michael Ford last modified 08 May, 2019 03:05 PM

Salisbury Cathedral’s new Canon Precentor, the Revd Anna Macham, was installed during 4.30pm Evensong on Sunday (5 May).

New Canon Precentor arrives

The Dean of Salisbury with the new Canon Precentor. Photo by Ash Mills

Anna left her previous job as a parish priest in Camberwell just before Easter and has already moved down to Salisbury. She becomes one of three full-time Residentiary Canons at the Cathedral working alongside the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos.

The Canon Precentor is responsible for Liturgy and Music at the Cathedral and oversees all major services, as well as supervising day-to-day worship and acting as cantor, or lead singer, during prayers.

Anna is no stranger to managing large Cathedral services. Between 2010 to 2012 she acted as Precentor at Southwark Cathedral, during which time she organised national acts of worship, including the Consecration of the Bishop, the Installation of the Dean, the Borough of Southwark’s Civic Service for Queen’s Jubilee, and one of three services marking the London 2012 Olympics, alongside Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Canon Precentor Anna said:
“I am looking forward to my installation and to becoming part of the Cathedral community. The opportunity to work with the Cathedral’s musicians, vergers and other Canons to bring people to God, and to play a part in worship at this extraordinary building, is a great privilege. The time has flown since my appointment was announced and I am eager to get to work.”

The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury said:
“We are looking forward to welcoming Anna and working with her. Liturgy and Music lie at the heart of our worship and her role will be pivotal. The fact that she is a musician in her own right is a bonus. Salisbury’s Choir and its organists are well-respected, and our great services continue to capture the imagination of thousands of worshippers.”

Sub Dean and Canon Chancellor Ed Probert said:
“I am delighted that Anna will be taking up her post very soon. It will be great to have a balanced team again and, having been Acting Precentor as well as Canon Chancellor for the last few months, I know what a busy and diverse role it is. To be Precentor requires great attention to detail and considerable focus. It will be with no small sense of relief that I will be handing the reins over to her and returning to my own work as Canon Chancellor full time.”

Anna found her calling at the age of 14 when she started singing in her local church choir, a vocation strengthened whilst a Choral Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford, where she studied English. Until recently she was the priest-in-charge of St Philip, Camberwell, in South East London. She also chaired the Bishop’s Advisory Group for Liturgy.

Anna trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, receiving her MPhil in Christian Doctrine. Prior to that she was a youth worker in France and served her curacy at St Mary, Cheshunt, in St Alban’s Diocese.

For six years Anna undertook a dual role of Southwark Cathedral’s Succentor, or deputy Precentor, and Chaplain at King’s College London medical and dental schools. A pianist and flautist, she became trustee of Royal School of Church Music in 2018 and strongly holds that music and belief walk hand-in-hand.

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