For a more narrative account by Dr Alan Thurlow please click on this link.
1954 The Revd Ronald Sibthorp read a paper to the Association of Minor Canons, entitled 'The Future of Choral Foundations', proposing the formation of a central body with oversight of cathedral music. This came to nothing because of disagreement as to the means rather than the end. He was greatly concerned by the reduction in the frequency of Choral Matins and Choral Evensong as a consequence of World War Two.
1956 Undeterred, Ronald Sibthorp and others wrote letters to eight national papers with a view to 'throwing the proposal open to the public and about two hundred and forty people responded, few of whom had anything to do with a cathedral". The Friends of Cathedral Music was founded following an initial meeting at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street attended by forty people and Ronald Sibthorp became the first Chairman. Dr E R Morgan, Bishop of Truro, became the first Patron and Dr Martin Shaw the first President. At the end of the first year there were 276 members and income totalled £171.
1958 Professor Herbert Howells became the second President following the untimely death of Martin Shaw. The first FCM conference, or Gatherings as they came to be known, was held at Lichfield Cathedral over a weekend
1960 A gift of ten pounds was given to the choir of Coventry Cathedral to purchase copies of Stanford in C, the first of many similar grants for music
1961 Council decided to organise three visits a year to cathedral cities and the first venues in 1962 were Chichester, Leicester and York. These were the forerunners of the legendary Regional Gatherings organised by the late Tony Harvey, one of the original members and later a Vice-President
1966 The number of people attending a Gathering exceeded one hundred for the first time at Bradford Cathedral. Membership reached 768
1968 £750 was promised to St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh to avoid the cessation of daily Choral Evensong
1970 The FCM organised a successful letter writing campaign to the BBC objecting to its proposal to discontinue the weekly broadcast of Choral Evensong
1971 Dr Christopher Dearnley succeeded Ronald Sibthorp as Chairman. The first endowment of a choral scholarship by the FCM was made to Gloucester Cathedral, with a promise of £3,000 over ten years. Membership reached one thousand and income £1,500
1981 The FCM celebrated its Silver Jubilee at St Paul's Cathedral with the choirs of St Paul's, Southwark and Guildford Cathedrals conducted by Barry Rose and Christopher Dearnley playing the organ
1982 Sir Charles Groves became Patron
1983 The booklet Singing in Cathedrals was introduced as a pocket directory of services and facilities, in association with the British Travel Authority
1984 The Rt Revd E W Kemp, Bishop of Chichester, became President
1986 The FCM organised a comprehensive survey of cathedral music practice at seventy five different locations in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
1988 Membership reached 1,500
1990. FCM founder, Ronald Sibthorp died and his autobiography, The Memoirs of a Minor Canon was published. Dr Alan Thurlow succeeded Dr Christopher Dearnley as Chairman
1992 The Rt Revd E W Kemp, Bishop of Chichester, became Patron. The FCM took over publication of Singing in Cathedrals from the BTA. A grant of £4,000 was awarded to the new girls' choir at Salisbury
1983 Dr George Guest became President. A magazine titled Cathedral Music was first published in 210mm x 250mm format with a glossy cover
1994 Membership reached 2,000
1996 The FCM celebrated its fortieth anniversary with a lunch and service at St Paul's
1997 The pros and cons of Girls' choirs was passionately debated at Lichfield AGM with guest speakers. Membership reached 2,500
1998 Cathedral Music started to be published twice a year under the continuing editorship of Andrew Palmer. The first internet FCM website was launched
2000 The value of investments exceeded £1,000,000 and grants exceeding £100,000 p.a. were awarded for the first time. A first National Gathering was held in Dublin.
2002 President George Guest died. Professor Peter Toyne succeeded Dr Alan Thurlow as Chairman. First survey made of members' backgrounds, priorities and levels of satisfaction.
2003 Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeded the Bishop of Chichester as Patron. Membership passed 3,000
2004 Dr Christopher Robinson was appointed as President
2005 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster became second Patron. An FCM Newsletter, Cathedral Voice was launched. Largest FCM grant ever of £34,000 given to Norwich Cathedral. Membership passed 3,500
2006 A number of celebrations were held to mark the FCM's fiftieth anniversary year including anniversary National Gatherings in Canterbury, Durham & Gloucester. A record total of £250,000 in Grants was awarded and a special reception held in December at the House of Commons.
2008 A first National Gathering was held in Northen Ireland during four days, with visits to Derry, Armagh, Downpatrick and Belfast.
Three new Vice-Presidents were announced: Ian Hislop, Emma Kirkby and James MacMillan.
Completely revised website launched in June. Largest FCM grant ever of £50,000 given to Southwark Cathedral to endow a Lay-Clerk
2009 Membership reached almost 4,000 and total grants made since 1954 reached £1.74 million
The new Archbishop of Westminster, The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, agreed to become Patron
2011 FCM is a major donor to the Choirbook for The Queen to mark The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Total grants made since 1954 reach £2 million
2013 The new Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd. Justin Welby, agreed to become Patron. FCM sponsored the City of London Sinfonia's Fauré Requiem Tour in 10 cathedrals in which the cathedral choirs performed works by Fauré, Tallis & Vaughan-Williams.
2016 The FCM celebrates its Diamond Jubilee with Gatherings around the Unilted Kingdom during the year, a concert at St Paul's Cathedral and launches the Diamond Fund for Choristers to raise funds to support cathedral choirs in the years to come.
Stephen Cleobury is appointed President