What a busy term, and it’s not over yet! We welcomed lots of lovely new members as well as all our returning ones in September with our lunchtime Autumn concert at the start of October. It featured Faure’s Requiem and Elgar’s Give unto the Lord, with beautiful solos from Vikki, Desmond and Andy. Thanks to the generosity of all who came to listen, and to the Friends of the City Churches, we were able to raise nearly £600 for St Katherine Cree and their charitable causes.
Later in October, we also joined St Katherine Cree for their Lion Sermon. In 1642, following the outbreak of the Civil War, a London Alderman, one Sir John Gayer, found himself in a rather uncomfortable situation, being a Royalist when London had declared for Parliament against the King. He therefore decided to go on a trade mission, probably with the Levant Company, to the Middle East. One night in Syria after his party had camped for the night at the edge of the desert, Sir John got up – presumably to do something no-one else could do for him. While performing this function he became aware that a lion was circling round him and he feel to his knees and prayed for deliverance. Clearly the beast decided that Sir John would make a thoroughly gristly and unpleasant meal, for it sloped off instead of attacking. In the morning, the rest of the party found Sir John sleeping peacefully with the lion’s tracks still visible around him. On his return to London, Sir John made haste to his local Church, St Katherine Cree and made a very large endowment in return for which St Kath undertook to hold an annual service during which there would be a sermon on the deliverance from the jaws of the lion (physical or otherwise). St Kath has held a service every year since and members of the Gayer family still attend. This year’s sermon was given by Anne Boden MBE, founder and CEO of Starling Bank and Anne spoke eloquently on corporate responsibility not just for their employees but also within wider society and communities.
We returned to Lloyds on 8th November for their annual Remembrance service in the Room. There is something very special about being part of this annual commemoration, especially as the echoes reverberate up the atrium in the stillness of a normally bustling work space. We were honoured to sing When You Go Home written especially for us by Ian Brentnall, a member of the choir and setting words of John 15:13 and Kohema Epitaph to such haunting melody with solos by Vikki and Charlie. From Lloyds, we progressed down Leadenhall Street to St Katherine Cree where we joined the Royal British Legion for their reflections on Remembrance. The Lloyd’s Service was streamed live over the internet, as in previous years, and was watched by thousands worldwide.
We are now busy rehearsing for Christmas, our grand carol concert is on Thursday, 12th December at St Katherine Cree at 6.45pm. Tickets are available on the door and in advance from Eventbrite (click here). We hope to see you there, however, if you are too busy voting(!), we will also be singing at a number of other festive functions and events around the City and the Insurance market so you shouldn’t miss out on the Christmas cheer.