Lincoln Cathedral to take state school choristers
Lincoln Cathedral has announced it will start auditioning pupils from schools across the city, ending an exclusive, centuries-old tie with Lincoln Minster School.
The cathedral's 40 choristers have been chosen from among the pupils at fee-paying Lincoln Minster School since the 13th Century.
However, from September it has said it intends to work with other schools.
Other schools have welcomed the move, calling it a "wonderful" opportunity.
Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, The Reverend Canon Dr Mark Hocknull, said: "The cathedral has no plans to sever its links with Lincoln Minster School and we hope it will continue to be a place where cathedral choristers are educated.
"However, with effect from 1 September 2016 we are also intending to work with other schools in the Lincoln area to offer talented youngsters the opportunity to join the cathedral choir."
The head of one state secondary school welcomed the decision.
Andrew Stones, head of William Farr Church of England School, in Welton, said: "We've got many, many children here who sing in our own choir and who are exceptionally talented who I'm sure will look at this and see it as an opportunity.
"The cathedral is the great beacon in our county and the fact it has opened up that possibility, I think, is absolutely wonderful."
One former chorister told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: "I think it's a great idea because it gives a lot more people the opportunity. Becoming a chorister is a great thing to do."