A message from our new President
Thursday, 11 April 2024
Now the dust has settled, following another successful Cathedralians dinner, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself, having officially taken over as society President.
For those who do not know me, I am James. I was a pupil at Bristol Cathedral School – now Bristol Cathedral Choir School – between 1999 and 2006.
Given my affection for the school, it will not come as a surprise to hear what an enormous privilege it is to have been made President of The Cathedralians Society. It really is a huge honour.
From representing the school’s cricket and rugby teams in India and Canada, to playing the part of Captain Hook’s bumbling ship mate, Mr Smee, in one Christmas production, I reflect on my time at the Cathedral school with great fondness and huge pride.
I left Cathedral almost 18-years ago but, no matter where life has taken me, I have never forgotten this great school, nor the extraordinary teachers who sought to bring out the very best in me.
It was lovely to catch up with Martin Gunn at last month’s dinner and recognise his outstanding contribution to the school with an Honorary Membership to the society. While last year, I had the great pleasure of talking to a few hundred 6th formers in my role as President-elect. It was wonderful to engage with so many enthusiastic, sparky and curious teenagers, and have the opportunity to explain that the society exists to encourage the bonds of fellowship between all Cathedralians.
I very much look forward to reconnecting with the school through the society, which continues to thrive thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of just a handful of members – including my brilliant predecessor, Rowan.
Picking up the baton from Rowan – who has been an outstanding President over the last 3-years – is not an easy task. He has seamlessly made the position his own – displaying style and grace at every turn and representing the school with aplomb. On behalf of The Cathedralians Society, I would like to sincerely thank Rowan for all his hard work over the last few years - and for the support he has shown me personally.
One of the things that really appeals to me about the society is its sense of community – and the opportunity to use the platform to give something back to the school and its alumni in some small way. This is what I am determined to do during my stint as President.
In due course, I will be in touch with a few ideas that will, with any luck, encourage the next generation to not just join our 112-year-old society but actively participate, engage and shape it too.
There are many benefits to The Cathedralians Society but perhaps one aspect that can be of most use to our younger members is access to our wonderfully diverse network – something I will be looking to tap into, to ensure we offer as much help and support as possible, to those starting out in their careers.

In order to help me drive this forward, I would really appreciate it if you are able to update your personal information on The Cathedralians Society website and register as a work experience mentor, providing you are willing and able to help students get a work experience placement.

To me, education is the bedrock of society and what I admire most about the school today is that it really does not matter where you are from – it is where you are going that counts. 
The school motto ‘gathered together that all may thrive’ sits at the heart of the school’s moral purpose, while the words ‘kindness, courage and hope’ underpin it.
Whether you are someone who wishes to bowl a few overs for the Old Cathedralians Cricket Club over the summer months, play in the society’s upcoming Golf Day in July or attend October’s London dinner, I want to make sure there's a place for you.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me should you have any thoughts or ideas on how we can make The Cathedralians Society an even greater success than it already is. My email is as follows: president@cathedralians.email
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my first note as President – I really do appreciate it and very much look forward to seeing you soon.