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/ 29 June 2017

The coolest place on the hottest night of the year

Cellist Hannah Monkhouse and Soprano April Frederick

On the hottest night of the year, over 50 artists from all backgrounds and disciplines met to celebrate two years of the Creatives Network, at the half-way point through Capital Vision 2020.

This night of remarkable entertainment, conversation, networking and food took place in the stunning crypt of St James’ Clerkenwell under the name a Feast of the Senses II – which it truly was.

The Crypt on the Green, with its thick walls of Georgian red bricks – a shield against the suffocating heat of the Capital – hosted five performers the chance to show their talents and creative reflection of their Christian faith and how it relates to their musical abilities.

The evening started with a set by Abimaro Gunnell, whose A Cappella voice blended folk and soul music, which was a perfected way to kick off the evening. Her heartfelt lyrics and melodies showed how her faith has sustained her in key moments of her life.  Described as a “breath of fresh air”, her music certainly was to those present, who up until that point had been entombed outside by the oppressive temperatures and the sounds of the City.

After a refreshment break, conversation, and the delicious tastes of middle-eastern street food, the audience was treated to the organic vocals of the Sarah Johns’ Music Party. Using drums and a varied vocal range, we were treated to an astounding performance of songs of such honesty and beauty in the human voice, that those present were stunned and touched by this intimate performance.

The music then took a classical turn as the third performer, cellist Hannah Monkhouse performed the 1st movement of the Suite for Solo Cello by Cassadó, which when performed, sounded like it had been written for the especially for the evening. She then accompanied the soprano April Frederick, who performed ‘Outpoured’ from Seven Lenten Songs, and, Akhmatova Songs for Soprano and Cello no VI. Death, by John Tavener, which was both moving and exceptional.

To give a final twist to the stellar line-up, Jack Henderson, performed a number of songs, which gave a perfect ending to a hot sultry night. Through, what Clash Magazine suggests is his “ageless quality in songwriting, reminiscent of Leonard Cohen’s wittier moments”, those present were treated to an amazing performance.

The Feast of the Senses II gave a great profusion of musical entertainment worthy of a high class – music venue. We were able to network with old friends and create new ones from across the artistic spectrum.

The Reverend Simon Rea, Pioneering Minister at St Peter’s Church Stonegrove, attended the event and used the evening to gather ideas on creating a cultural presence in his community. He said:

“The evening was Inspirational. It’s given me ideas to do things that have meaning and power, yet are very simple and achievable”.

Commenting on the success of the evening, Archdeacon Liz Adekunle said:

“The Feast of the Senses II was a fantastic and creative evening. It was great to meet so many different Christian creatives from theatre set designers to poets. In addition to the wonderful performances, the night also gave people the opportunity to meet new like-minded Christian artists and to deepen our understanding of what it is to be a Christian creative at this time.

“I would like to thank all of those who helped to organise this event. We hope the Creatives Network will in the future continue to blossom and grow through events like this.”

Any creative who has faith can join the Creatives Network and help build the church engage more closely with artists in London.  See more stories and news from the network on the arts and creative pages.


About Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall is a Communications Assistant. He writes for and manages the Parish Communications Network, the Creatives Network, and the Sports and Physical Activity Network. He also manages the diocesan social media accounts. In his spare time, he is a Cathedral Warden, helps run a homeless charity, loves hiking and all outdoor adrenaline sports, including biking, and rugby. He dreams of hiking to Rome and Jerusalem.

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