Bearsted Choral Society had been looking forward very much to the honour of singing Evensong in Rochester Cathedral. We had been practising the hymns, the anthems and the responses and we had even ‘borrowed’ Otham Church one evening so that we could practise processing into the choir stalls.
On Saturday 14th October, we nervously gathered in the crypt of Rochester Cathedral for a warm-up and final practice and to receive instructions from the Residentiary Canon before the Verger led us into the choir stalls to begin the solemn service of Choral Evensong.
It was so thrilling to hear our voices soar into the magnificent heights of the Cathedral, accompanied by Trevor Brearley who seemed to be revelling in the opportunity to play the huge Cathedral organ. Hubert Parry’s stirring anthem ‘I was glad’ almost had the walls vibrating as Trevor ‘pulled out all the stops’ and treated us to an unforgettable experience as we sang the words from Parry’s setting of Psalm 122. The words ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ had never seemed more appropriate than at the present time.
Afterwards, the Residentiary Canon complimented us on how we had engaged with the service. We were certainly feeling very uplifted after this amazing experience and would like to thank our Music Director, Andrew Lowen for arranging this opportunity for us.
By way of a total contrast our next performance will be a Christmas concert especially for children, which promises to be a huge amount of fun. We will feature a reluctant dragon who only wants to write poetry and a snowman who flies a small boy off to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. Of course, we will also be including some of our very favourite Christmas carols and we hope that everyone will join in.
The concert will be held at St Peter’s Church, Button Lane, Bearsted, ME15 8NJ at 3 pm on Saturday 16th December. Tickets costing £10 for one adult and one child are now available. Tickets for additional children will cost £3. This concert aims to put the children at the centre of Christmas, which is exactly where they should be!