St Stephen Walbrook opens doors to a packed crowd in celebration of Musician’s Church
The doors of the historic St Stephen Walbrook church opened last week to welcome parishioners and City workers to an evening of music, song and spoken word for worship on St Cecilia’s Day.
In an event that marked a new phase for the Musician’s Church, the congregation was treated to the sound of St Stephen’s Voices, directed by John Rutter CBE and Andrew Earis, the Director of Music at St Martin-in-the-Fields. The congregation also joined in worship to celebrate St Cecelia’s Day, the festival for the patroness of musicians.
Under the dome designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the Priest-in-Charge at St Stephen Walbrook, the Revd Stephen Baxter and the Archdeacon of London, the Ven Luke Miller, offered their reflections.
This new phase comes at the end of a successful first year for the Musician’s Church, which has operated as an online platform providing an online home for musicians within the Diocese of London to book concerts and rehearsals.
Andrew Earis, the Director of Music at St Martin-in-the-Fields, said:
“Music goes to the very heart of our humanity, our sense of community, and our souls. To join with such a diverse crowd in celebration of the Musician’s Church was therefore a joy, and to do so in such a historic location an honour.”
The Ven Luke Miller, The Archdeacon of London, said:
“The Diocese of London’s partnership with the Musician’s Church is a long-standing one, so I am glad that it has received a new breath of life.”
The Revd Stephen Baxter, Priest-in-Charge at St Stephen Walbrook, said:
“On a chilly November evening, it was a great pleasure to welcome to St Stephen Walbrook a host of supporters of music in London’s churches to celebrate the new phase of the network of Musicians’ Churches. The St Stephen Voices directed by Andrew Earis and John Rutter CBE, patron of the Musicians’ Church, performed a sparkling variety of brief works celebrating St Cecilia’s Day and the joy of music. John also directed the audience in the singing of his hymn, Eternal God, we give you thanks for music.”
Last night’s event was the first in a new annual programme of worship and concert activity across the City of London, aimed at developing relationships and partnerships across the musical community and supporting musicians and the musical life of churches within the Diocese of London. The initiative is supported by a number of patrons, including the Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, John Rutter CBE, Julian Lloyd Webber and Judith Weir, the Master of the Queen’s Music and others.
For more information about Musician’s Church visit its website. Also, to read the Archdeacon of London’s blog on the event visit his page here.