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Local people come together to sing Evensong at Tardebigge Church

Published: 29th May 2024

The front of Tardebigge Church with the congregation taking part in EvensongOver 100 people visited St Bartholomew’s Church in Tardebigge on Sunday 26 May to enjoy a special service of Evensong led by a ‘Come and Sing’ choir of people from Redditch and the surrounding area.

The service brought together enthusiasts of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) style of worship. It was the idea of the Revd Sarah Jayne Hewitt and was led by The Venerable Paul Taylor, Emeritus Archdeacon of Sherborne, now residing in Brockhill, Redditch.

Sarah Jayne said: “The regular Evensong at St Bartholomew’s church had dwindled to under 10 attendees so I wanted to do something to revitalise the community. We had no idea how many people would come to join the choir or the congregation, but were absolutely thrilled with the turnout.”

The choir, a robust ensemble of 30 singers from Feckenham, Alvechurch, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Solihull, and Kings Norton, performed a carefully curated selection of music. This included the Introit "View Me Lord" (Words: Thomas Campion, Music: Richard Lloyd), hymns "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind," "How shall I sing your Majesty," and "There's a wideness in God's mercy." The service featured the Hylton-Stewart in C Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, and the anthem "Come down, O love divine" by Harris. They met for a rehearsal from 3-5pm, which was followed by an afternoon tea at 5pm for both choir and congregation, culminating in a BCP Choral Evensong at 6pm.

The event, led musically by Paul Taylor, who studied organ with John Webster (University College, Oxford) and H.A. Bate (St James, Muswell Hill), and his organist friend Cyril Verey, B.Sc., M.Sc., M.Ed., A.T.C.L, formerly Head of Maths at The Marling School, Stroud, was a resounding success. Paul Taylor, before his ordination, served as the organist and choirmaster at St Paul's, Mill Hill (London) and was the Director of the Chapel Choir at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

Sarah Jayne continued: “We have had lots of requests to do something similar again and I hope that as a result we plan to establish a new worshipping community which uses the BCP 1662 prayerbook tradition. I was also able to promote other local BCP services, fostering a network of support to ensure the sustainability of this niche worshipping community in Bromsgrove and Redditch.”

Page last updated: Wednesday 29th May 2024 4:45 PM

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