Bass Lay Clerk – Westminster Cathedral

Key information

Closing date: 12pm, Monday 29 April 2024

£28,645.69 per year

Part-time, 13.5 hours per week

Permanent Contract

Based in London, SW1P

First Round Interviews: In person, w/c 6 May 2024


Please find below the job description for this role:

Bass Lay Clerk Job Description


Please note: This role needs to commence on 1 September 2024 at the latest, but the panel is willing to discuss start date previous to this, at interview.


Westminster Cathedral are looking for a Bass Lay Clerk to join 7 other Lay Clerks singing alongside the boy choristers from the Cathedral Choir School. This is the Westminster Cathedral Choir, acclaimed as one of the world’s great choirs.


What you’ll be doing

Westminster Cathedral Choir is acclaimed as one of the world’s great choirs.  The Cathedral’s founder, Cardinal Vaughan, intended its liturgies to be enriched with the finest music available and for the Choir to be the ‘jewel in the crown’ of English Catholicism.  The Choir draws it repertoire from a rich seam of music written especially for Catholic liturgy, and plainchant is the well-spring from which the Choir’s musical activities flow.

The Bass Lay Clerk, as part of the Choir, will sing Vespers and Mass daily during Choir terms. You will be one of eight professional Lay Clerks (two counter-tenors, three tenors and three bases) who are employed to join the boy choristers, all of which are boarders in the Cathedral Choir School.

The Choir will be joined by additional singers for Sundays and for special services, concerts and recordings. Furthermore, there is a substantial approved deputy list from which Lay Clerks may engage deputies within permitted limits.

This means there’s lots to get involved in – and to be excited about.


What we’re looking for

As an exceptional singer, you will wish to contribute to the sound of the Choir, and be passionate about maintaining and improving the high standards of singing on which we pride ourselves.

It is not required for the successful candidate to be a practicing Roman Catholic. The team consists of a good mix of those with a Catholic faith and those of other faiths or none. What we require above all else is that you respect the values we share to help others and support decent and dignified work for all without prejudice.


Additional details

  • The salary for this role is currently £28,645.69, which is reviewed annually. Special services, broadcasts, concerts, tours and recordings are subject to additional fees. The salary and terms permit for certain services to be livestreamed.
  • There are two days off per week, one of which is generally fixed and the other flexible.  From time to time the choir may be required to sing on a day normally deemed a day off. A day off in lieu may be accrued if a Lay Clerk is prevented from being able to take two days off by such a schedule change. Such changes may only be requested with a notice period of six weeks.
  • Overtime accrues in blocks of 15 minutes wherever a service, event or session needs to be extended.
  • Holiday is taken outside of term-times. Term-times are as follows:

– The first Sunday of September until Christmas Day, with a six-day break in October

– The vigil of Epiphany* until Easter Day

– The Thursday following Low Sunday until the Sunday after the final Sunday of the chorister term (usually the 2nd or 3rd Sunday in July)

*when Epiphany or its transferal falls on a Sunday, then term begins on the Sunday.

  • It is accepted that you will undertake additional paid work or employment for other employers or organisations.
  • In the case of a national event taking place in Westminster Cathedral at short notice, you may be asked to return from overseas venues and, if necessary, curtail other work engagements. In the event of travel expenses being incurred, these will be reimbursed.


What we offer you

In return for your hard work and commitment to us, you will receive a competitive reward package which will include, but is not limited to:

  • Life Assurance
  • Access to Healthcare Cash Plan
  • Discounts scheme through Edenred-shopping, restaurants, cinema tickets gift cards and much more
  • Season Ticket Loan
  • Cycle to Work scheme
  • Access to low cost loans with Churches Mutual
  • Employee assistance programme– free, independent 24/7 help and advice for work-related issues as well as problems affecting home life


Who are we?

We are the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, a faith-based charity with offices close to Victoria Train and Underground Station and just a short walk from St James Park and Westminster Underground stations.

We are home to the Archbishop of Westminster (Cardinal Vincent Nichols) & our beautiful Westminster Cathedral. We are one of the leading Catholic dioceses in the country, delivering our charitable mission through our network of 208 schools in which over 90,000 pupils attend daily, 212 parishes and several hundred social justice initiatives. We seek to positively impact the lives of all members of society.

Our core values are Competence, Reliability, Honesty, Perseverance & Love.

Our values are at the centre of everything we do and as such we are looking for a Bass Lay Clerk who is able to clearly demonstrate and evidence them


Application details

Our people are incredibly important to us, and we value and respect diversity in all its forms (seen and unseen). We particularly welcome applications from those from Black and Asian backgrounds, as well as candidates with disabilities and from the communities in which we work. We would like to increase representation of these groups among our staff as we know greater diversity will lead to an even greater impact for our work.

To be considered for the role, please complete an online application. CVs will NOT be considered, therefore, please do not send them. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. Please note that you will need to be eligible to work in the UK to apply for this position. You must provide proof of Right to Work in the UK.  We reserve the right to remove the vacancy before closing date.


Equal Opportunities & Living Wage Statement:

The Diocese of Westminster is an Equal Opportunities and accredited Living Wage employer. To be successful, we aspire to be person centered at all times and place human dignity at our centre. We aim at all times to recruit the person who is best suited to the job, and we welcome applications from all communities and underrepresented groups, regardless of race, sexual orientation, disability, faith, age and gender. We guarantee an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria. We strive to take a holistic approach to the development of our people so that we may better serve and empower the mission of our Church as ministered by the parishes, deaneries, schools and communities that we support. Our ambition is to work together to promote a more inclusive environment, which attracts all candidates and signals our commitment to celebrating and promoting diversity.

We want people from all walks of life to feel valued for their individuality, thrive in our organisation, share a sense of belonging and demonstrate our values. With this in mind, we positively celebrate Diversity & Inclusion at the Diocese of Westminster and place it at the heart of our aim which is to reflect and connect with the diverse communities that we serve.

Actions we take to provide equality of opportunity for all candidates include:

  • We anonymise application forms during our shortlisting process to ensure that candidates are assessed without any consideration of their name, gender or background.
  • As part of this anonymisation, we don’t take into consideration where candidates studied, or the method of that study e.g. full-time, part-time or distance learning.
  • We apply a consistent approach to our question setting across our applications and interviews to ensure that everyone is assessed against the identified values, competencies and job requirements. Our values are important to us and as such we use a scoring framework that marks candidates based on values, behaviours and competencies.
  • We provide guidance and brief all our interviewers throughout the selection processes in recruitment best-practice to mitigate against any potential for conscious or unconscious bias or discrimination. Whenever possible we will have multiple interviewers when assessing each candidate to ensure marking is accurate and fair.
  • We ensure all our assessment venues are accessible. We offer alternative formats of our application forms to encourage applicants with disabilities or who require reasonable adjustments to perform at their best.
  • We will work together with candidates with a disability or health condition to implement reasonable adjustments to enable them to feel comfortable and strive during the assessment process.


Anyone wishing to discuss the post with the Master of Music, Simon Johnson, should contact the Music Administrator, William Waine: