St John’s Evensong is a jewel in the crown

St John’s Anglican Church, Wagga.Evensong is a jewel in the diadem of Anglican services, so it is said.
Nanjing Night Net

With this in mind my former newspaper colleague, Adrian Wintle, who these days is director of music at St John’s Wagga, has decided on a blockbuster choral Evensong to herald the church’s re-opening after major ceiling beam restoration closed the church for many months.

The weekend is November 14-15 and the choral Evensong is planned to be the feature of the celebrations on the Saturday.

“Evensong has the potential to attract people in the community who might not normally attend church regularly but who are fascinated by the beauty and grandeur of the liturgy with its resonances of early Church practice,”Adriansaid.

“Evensong as we know it derives from Archbishop Cranmer’s 1549 prayer book which in turn traces its origins back to the “Offices” in the fixed daily routine of medieval monastries”.

At this point in our chat,Adrianseemed surprised to learn your humble columnist once regularly attended Evensong atSt John’s. “Explain!”, he commanded.

It was not entirely for religious reasons, although the then Archdeacon, Robert Davies, (later to become Archbishop of Tasmania, 1963-81) preached a very good topical sermon, more in keeping with the week’s events and, being a “cricket tragic”, with mentions of the great game and wonderful cricketers .

Although he was born inEngland, Davies’ family migrated in 1925. He was an admirer of Keith Miller’s cricket andEnglandbatsman, Peter May. Davies liked nothing better during a Test series than to chat about the current match after Evensong.

He was inspirational, a genuine man with a ready smile who had seen service in World War II with the RAAF in the Middle East and Italy as chaplain.

He gave me my first reference written in an earthy style which I followed when doing the same for others in later years using phrases like “one out of the top drawer” and “born of fine stock”.

I confessed toAdrian, however, the true reason we male friends occupied the back pew every Sunday night, was that a busload of women students from the Teachers College regularly attended the same service. We would invite them for a milkshake at one of the city’s cafes before seeing them safely back to college.

Adrianpromises a great array of music including four traditional Anglican hymns alongside Psalm 122, and a setting of Magnificat by Thomas Walmisley; two works written byAdrian, a setting of The Lord’s Prayer and a chant for Nunc Dimittis; the anthem, Christ be Beside Me, by 20th century English musician, Malcolm Archer.

Before the service associate organist, Andrew Wallace, will perform whileAdrianwill play the postlude, Karg-Elert’s Nun Danket Alle Gott.

A cocktail party will follow the Evensong. From 11am to 3pm each day of the weekend the re-opened church will show Wagga Art Society works while the Sunday Eucharist will include a re-dedication liturgy by Bishop Trevor Edwards.

The church’s re-opening is another milestone sinceSt John’sbecame a separate parish in 1839 and the church opened in 1859. Significant alterations were carried out 1875, also between 1905-11 and in 1963 a copper spire replaced the tower’s flat roof.

The restoration now coming to an end will be tested by the return of stirring music on November 14.

GRAHAM GORREL梧桐夜网dailyadvertiser南京夜网419论坛This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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