Faith & Worship

Week 3 - Ailsa Campbell

This year, on the centenary of women's suffrage, we are celebrating the women who play important roles in the daily life of the Cathedral community.

Each Saturday of the year, we will be sharing a different story here and across our social media. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and search for the #BlessedIsShe hashtag. 

For the third week of the year, we spoke with Ailsa Campbell, the first full-time female Alto Choral Scholar in the Cathedral Choir, after 500 years of an all-male back row.


What’s your connection with Bristol Cathedral?

I am the current Alto Choral Scholar at Bristol Cathedral, singing in the services for the congregation every week.


How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?

Since March 2016, so almost two full years.


What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?

Firstly the music, it’s so amazing that anyone can come and see such great quality music making every day without having to buy a ticket. And secondly the feeling of being involved with not just the Cathedral, but the city and the feeling of community you get from being involved.


What have been some of your personal highlights?

A tour to Bordeaux, live BBC Radio 3 Evensong, live BBC One Christmas Day Broadcast, and a CD recording last year! There have been a lot of highlights but I think the best thing has been getting to know everyone in the choir and community.


What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?

I’d love to see it grow in popularity, especially the services. I don’t think most people realise that you can take 45 minutes out of your day to have some time to reflect and rest in such a busy city.


What does the Cathedral mean for you?

I always think of cathedrals being the most integral part to a city. I think people forget how long the Cathedral has been around compared to the rest of the city; it’s amazing to think what those walls have seen over the years.