The Chapel Choir returned from a very successful tour to York and Ripon late on Monday evening.

Sunday saw the choir visit the Jorvik Dig exhibition, finding out about archaeology first hand. The wealth of history in York is staggering; Beth, our guide, gave the children an array of artefacts to handle in order to analyse the materials used and to consider the value of everyday items we take for granted. A comb, for example, cost the equivalent of £300!

After lunch Beth took the children into the simulated dig site, and, armed with colourful trowels the children uncovered features from Victorian, Medieval, Viking and Roman sites.

A short walk followed and we were in York Minster where we attended Choral Evensong in preparation for Monday’s main event.

Arriving at our accommodation was exciting, and after finding our dorms and settling in, we had supper. A short rehearsal and a DVD afterwards took us to bedtime.

Monday morning, and we were up and off to Fountains Abbey to experience a day in the life of a monk. Dressed in our habits, our guides led us through the long and clearly quite chilly day that a novice monk would experience. Fountains Abbey is a World Heritage Site and it is quite spectacular. The Yorkshire weather was kind (being in God’s own county!) and the sun shone on the righteous.

After lunch and a play on the adventure playground, we were in Ripon Cathedral. Time for the serious business of the day. After a good rehearsal and a guided tour of this amazing building, we were robed and ready to sing. The service itself flowed without a hiccup and the children sang beautifully. It was a very moving experience to hear their voices resounding around the vaulted ceilings. Many members of the congregation commented on the children’s singing, and their exemplary behaviour.

Burger King! That was our supper stop and much excitement did it cause. We boarded the coach after our supper and settled down for the long journey south, arriving back in Harborne around 11pm, tired but happy in the knowledge of a job well done.