Cole wrote to government officials emphasizing the need for urgent action, but was disappointed by the response.
He said: "Children's choirs in many cases will face a long process of rebuilding. In my letter to Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for DCMS (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), I estimated that if the damage continues, the process of recovery could take 3-5 years for a boys' choir like the Oratory Schola, which covers an age range of 8-18, and all four voice parts."
"Unfortunately the form response I received from the DCMS made no reference to children's choirs and I fear that the point was lost. Several MPs also received the same letter which failed to address the specific issues."
Cole was among the signatories of a letter from more than 200 leading figures in the music world published in the Daily Telegraph last Saturday. It said that the work of church musicians was "under serious threat, with some professional choirs already facing permanent disbandment."
The pianist Matthew Schellhorn told CNA that Church leaders, charities and politicians had a shared responsibility to ensure that choirs survived the pandemic.
"The situation for musicians is dire, and particularly lamentable for those in churches, whose work has been doubly hit by the cancelations they have endured and the closure of churches," he said.
"There is a lack of certainty over singing in a church setting. Church leaders, charities, and government have a joint responsibility to respond to the plight of the arts sector."
The charity Friends of Cathedral Music and the Ouseley Church Music Trust has launched a Cathedral Choirs' Emergency Fund, which is seeking to raise $1.3 million for cathedral choirs in need.
The two groups conducted a survey which found that many U.K. choral foundations required additional financial support to survive the next few months.
"The U.K. is the only country in the world where the tradition of daily sung liturgy in cathedrals has been so widely maintained. This precious inheritance is now clearly at risk," they said.
The Church Commissioners, a body managing the property assets of the Anglican Church of England, have promised to match the funds raised.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
But choirs are likely to struggle as long as scientific advisers deem singing to be a dangerous activity. The government has reportedly commissioned new research into droplet transmission by singers to determine whether the current restrictions should be eased. But there is no indication when choral singing will be allowed to resume in churches.
Cole said: "We live in a society in which liability is everything, and no risk is deemed acceptable. Stringent measures may or may not keep us safe, and certainly the jury is still out on this. But what is beyond any doubt is the fact that they stifle and impede the ability of our choirs to sing, and indeed survive."
"Choirs are absolutely integral to the liturgy, which they adorn and beautify to help make it truly worthy of God. They also draw in the faithful and lead them to prayer. Our choirs are essential, and we need to prioritise their return without equivocation and without delay."