London Gallery Quire

London Gallery Quire

 

Church Crawl 2009

Saturday, 19th September

Report by Dil Scot, with additional notes by Stella Hardy

St Margaret Pattens, Rood Street

St.Margaret PattensWe arrived at St Margaret Pattens, to collect our copies of the very impressive "Your Voices Raise" – the latest LGQ publication – a collection of the quire's favourite tunes. This is always a frightening moment for a semi-literate reader of music like myself, but the enthusiasm and support offered by the fifty-odd other participants swept my errors and missed notes under the carpet of their choral power,  

The Church of St Margaret Pattens has an interesting history. For at least 900 years a church dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch has stood on this site.  At least four versions of the church were built; the fourth was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.  Wren built the present church between 1684 and 1687.  A pair of pattensAs there were several churches dedicated to St Margaret at the time, some distinctive title was needed.  That of “Pattens” was chosen because they were made and sold close to the church.  A patten was a type of "undershoe" consisting of a wooden sole fitted with leather straps and mounted on a large metal ring to raise the wearer from the muddy roads. A notice in the church still “requests women to leave their Pattens before entering”.

St.Margaret Pattens
St.Margaret Pattens
St.Margaret Pattens
Alan Weeks conducting
St.Margaret Pattens
Nicholas Markwell conducting
St.Margaret Pattens
St.Margaret Pattens

Our first item which was lead by Francis Roads was aptly "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning". Alan Weeks then lead us in a variety of items including In my Trouble will I Call upon the Lord & "Ye Boundless Realms of Joy" Nicholas Markwell then took us through his edition of "O give thanks unto the Lord". Francis ended our music making at St Margaret’s with items which included the rousing version of God Save the Queen as favoured by LGQ. We allowed ourselves a few moments to survey the church itself before a relatively short walk to the somewhat daunting sounding ...

All Hallows by the Tower

The Saxon Abbey of Barking founded the church of All Hallows by the Tower in 675 AD. An arch from the original Saxon church remains. Beneath the arch is a Roman pavement, discovered in 1926, evidence of city life on this site for the best part of two thousand years. Following their execution on Tower Hill, numerous beheaded bodies were brought into the church including those of Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher and Archbishop Laud. William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was baptised in the church and educated in the schoolroom (now the Parish Room). In 1666 the Great Fire of London started in Pudding Lane, a few hundred yards from the church, and All Hallows survived through the efforts of Admiral Penn, William Penn's father. John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the USA, was married in All Hallows in 1797.

All hallows by the Tower
All Hallows by the Tower
All Hallows by the Tower
Tony Singleton conducting
All hallows by the Tower
All Hallows by the Tower

In 1940 the church was bombed and only the tower and the walls remained, but the late Queen Mother laid a new foundation stone in 1948 and attended the re-dedication service some nine years later.The Vicar at the time was "Tubby" Clayton, founder of Toc H. The movement's lamp of maintenance still burns in the Lady Chapel and the founder's effigy and body rest in the church.

Mike Bailey and SerpentHere we sang a selection of Thomas Clarke’s music lead by Tony Singleton and John Miles lead us in Devizes; his own composition ‘Save me o God; and various other items that were found to be suitable for the resonant acoustic. Before we dispersed for lunch Mike Bailey who had been accompanying us on his bassoon all morning lead us in his composition of "The Halsway Grace" (picture right).

Lunch then followed! For this interlude we had all been provided with a comprehensive list of “Eateries” in the neighborhood. We were also in a perfect position to view the efforts of the participants in the Round Britain Cycle Race as they sped past us at an astounding speed! It looked far too much like hard work for this event to encourage my participation!

St.Olave's, Hart Street

After lunch we moved to our final destination - St Olave, Hart Street – arriving only just in time to join in the first item which was lead by Ros Clements, When the Lord Turned Again the Captivity of Sion. Ros continued with more items from the diverse selection in the book including the Nunc Demitis to the tune Rineton. Francis then rounded off the day; he provided paper copies of an item not included in the book, but as it was written by the only known female composer of West Gallery Music who happened to be organist at St Olave, Hart St, we could hardly miss the opportunity to sing her music. He continued with a selection of Christmas Carols and finally ended with the piece which closes every London Gallery Quire rehearsal ‘Praise ye the Lord’. One of the particular joys of this our final port of call was that our performance was unhindered by Fire Alarms, Wedding Receptions or the appearance of the Air Ambulance Helicopter – which had been the case in my only previous participation in an LGQ event (see the report of the 2007 Church Crawl.

St.Olave's, Hart St.
St.Olave's, Hart Street
St.Olave's, Hart St.
St.Olave's, Hart Street
St.Olave's, Hart St.
Ros Clements conducting
St.Olave's, Hart St.
Francis Roads conducting

As the final chord was sung, I was somewhat relieved to note that I was not alone in being exhausted as well as elated by the joy of taking part in such a successful venture. Altogether, the day had encompassed all that I have come to expect in a WGMA event, fine fellowship, marvellous music and that wonderful “lift” of having been able to sing to one's heart's content. A truly memorable launch for the LGQ book "Your Voices Raise".

Photos by Cedric Morgan

Music files:
In my Trouble I called upon the Lord - Anthem from Psalm 18 by William Knapp (3m 06s, 1.41Mb)
God Save our gracious Queen - Words set to Northcourt tune by Thomas Clark (1m 28s, 689Kb)
The Holly and the Ivy - Traditional carol arranged by Francis Roads (1m 42s, 797Kb)
When the Lord turned again - Anthem from Psalm 126 by William Knapp (3m 48s, 1.74Mb)

More details of the book we sang from "Your Voices Raise" can be found HERE

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