From Cathedral to Parish Church: A Lenten Pilgrimage

My wonderful time of listening continued: firstly, on Saturday, with the RSCM Voices West at Wells Cathedral (Walsh responses, Bairstow Canticles and Byrd ‘Civitas Sancti Tui’). I particularly enjoyed the gentle, laid-back style with which the Byrd was sung – in which the choir sounded much more like cathedral choristers than a diverse collection of parish church choristers, such as they were. It was a good opportunity to meet up with friends for the evening – it is very interesting how many church musicians seem to end up at either Wells or Salisbury. Sunday saw a return to our own church – and a rare opportunity to hear my own parish choir sing. They had a tuneful, gentle, quiet style, in the responsorial psalm, the Mass setting (St. Thomas, Thorne) and the a capella anthem, ‘Lord, for thy tender mercies’ sake’ (Farrant). I was very proud of them.
Such wonderful music was perfectly complemented by a simple, but delicious Lent Lunch in the Parish Centre – with curried parsnip soup, bread, cheese and coffee. To call it a Hunger Lunch would be a misnomer – and anyone still with empty boots had an opportunity to stock up with Fair Trade goods to take home.

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