Salisbury Cathedral’s new Canon Precentor, The Revd Anna Macham, was installed during Evensong on Sunday and welcomed by a full congregation.
She becomes one of three full-time Residentiary Canons at the Cathedral working alongside the Dean of Salisbury, The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, having left her previous job as a parish priest in Camberwell just before Easter.
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 Macham said: “I am looking forward 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 Dean, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos said: “We are really looking forward to working with Anna. 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.”
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.