Join us at St Giles’ for our ‘original’ carol service at 6.30pm on Sunday 16th December.
November has seen St Giles’ host a variety of concerts, from Album launches to operas. Our ‘Camberwell Remembers’ concerts were also very successful and has kept everyone involved in music at St Giles very busy indeed. But the weekend of the 15th and 16th of December will be the busiest time of the year!
After Organoke the night before, join us in a candlelit St Giles’ to hear and sing along with Victorian Christmas carols with readings. Mulled wine will be available and the service will last around an hour. Entry is free and donations are welcome.
If you like carols, join us at St Giles’ in December for carols old and new!
First up is our Advent Words and Music service on Sunday 3rd of December at 6.30pm.
Advent season is a time of preparation and expectation in the church – this simple service will include poetry and readings inspired by the season. Alongside well-known Advent carols for everyone to sing, the choir will be performing some more intriguing music to welcome in the start of the new church year.
On Sunday 17th December the choir is in action again as they perform ‘Carols by Candlelight‘ at 6.30pm. This service will include 9 lessons (or readings) which tell the Christmas story accompanied by congregational and choir carols. The service will last around 50 minutes and mince pies and mulled wine will be served afterwards.
If you’re out in Camberwell on Tuesday 19th December, keep an ear out for Camberwell Community Choir from 7pm. The choir will be singing carols in pubs, restaurants and on Camberwell Green raising money for the charity Health, Poverty, Action.
On Christmas Eve, our Crib Service at 3pm contains readings and carols for children. The Christmas story is told through the travels of the shepherds, wise men and the Holy Family! Christingles are lit at the end of the service.
Then at 12 Midnight, join us to sing congregational carols at Midnight Mass. A Festival Mass follows at 10am on Christmas Day.
Our harvest evensong on the 1st of October went so well! Thank you to everyone who took part including our soloists – Diane, Stuart and Matt – who sang beautifully during Haydn’s ‘The Heavens are telling’. Thanks too to Marilyn Harper who accompanied the choir on the organ.
The community choir have also been busy accompanying Hitchcock’s ‘The Lodger’ which was shown on the 15th of October as part of the Herne Hill Festival. The choir first accompanied the film in St Giles’ three years ago. After accompanying Dupont’s Piccadilly (1929) and Hitchcock’s slightly later film, Blackmail (also 1929), the Lodger is the first film the choir has taken ‘on tour’. Thanks to everyone who came along and supported them.
We sing choral evensong four times a year at St Giles’ and this October, we thought we’d take advantage of the wealth of music celebrating harvest time. Along with responses by William Smith and beautifully autumnal-sounding canticles by Ernest Moeran, we’ll be singing Maurice Greene’s ‘Thou visitest the earth’ as an introit. Joseph Haydn’s ‘The heavens are telling’ from ‘The Creation’ is the anthem.
We’re very pleased to welcome Marilyn Harper, organist of Christ’s Chapel, Dulwich who will be playing the organ for us. Ashley Valentine from St Giles’ will be conducting. If you are a confident singer and able to read music – please do consider joining us on the day! See our registration form.
If you would like to bring any non-perishable harvest gifts – such as canned food and toiletries – we will be donating them to our local charities: Sunshine House (for young mothers and babies), The Foyer (to help young homeless people find a way back to independent living) and the Pecan Food Bank (to help needy people find nourishment).
After the service we’re hoping to have some harvest mead on offer. In medieval times, it was common for parishes to brew their own mead at harvest time and we’d like to celebrate all the gifts around us with a tipple!
Join us on Sunday 1st October at 4.30pm. All very welcome.
Thank you for joining us at choral evensong at St Giles’, sung by the ‘Friends of Morland’ and conducted by Norman Harper, Director of Music at St George’s Catholic Cathedral in Southwark. The organist was Ashley Valentine.
Music included Balfour Gardiner’s Evening Hymn, Sumsion in A Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis & Graham Ellis’ ‘Morland’ responses.
St Giles’ choristers have been visiting the Morland Chorister Camp each summer for many years and we were delighted to host evensong again in London.
At the start of September, we all came together to sing Choral Evensong for St Giles’ Day.
‘We’ as in St Giles’ Choir, members from Camberwell Community Choir, Southwark Pensioner’s Choir, Camberwell Choir School, Mind and Soul Choir – and quite a few ‘freelancers’ as well!
For a service lasting just 45 minutes there was a lot to sing! Music included Purcell’s ‘Thou knowest Lord’, Responses by Rose, Canticles by Stanford and Rutter’s ‘A Gaelic Blessing’. As well as a couple of hymns and a psalm for good measure. And with just under two hours to bring everything together, it was a real work out for all concerned.
But it was definitely worth it. The choir made a fantastic sound and it was the perfect way to end a happy, sunny St Giles’ Day. Thanks to everyone involved.
Last Sunday we said goodbye to Les Alden, the ‘Father’ of our church choir and surely one of the longest-serving choir members in it’s long history. Les joined the choir in 1960 when the BBC came to film Songs of Praise from St Giles’. 55 years later, Les is still singing at the top of his game!
Les has a lifelong connection to our church. He was born in 1943 and baptized at St Giles’, living for many years at 47 Vicarage Grove, opposite the church. Then, in 1961 he met his wife Pat. Les explains:
” In 1961 I went to a youth dance in St Giles’ Parish Hall with two friends. We saw three, very attractive young ladies on the other side of the hall and decided to ask them for a dance. We walked across the hall together and as I was about to ask my one for a dance, I found that my future wife Pat had somehow got in front of her. Pat asked me to dance and that was that. I never did get to dance with that attractive young lady!” Pat and Les got married in 1966 at St. Giles’.
Les joined the Church Council at the age of 21 and has been a member ever since. He has been a church warden numerous times and was instrumental in the conversion of the crypt at St Giles’ into a social space for use by the church and many other local groups. In 1995, Les took on the role of Volunteer Manager for Jazz Live in the Crypt, a role he continued in for 15 years. During that time, the crypt brought in an estimated £190,000 for church funds.
In his time at St. Giles’, Les has seen 5 Vicars – Canon Bishop, Fr. Nichols, Canon Rhymes, Canon Bomford and Fr. Nicholas. He has been to every part of the Church including the crawl-way under the floor and the very top of the spire. He also learned to ring the bells!
Everyone at St Giles’ wishes Les and Pat every happiness in their retirement in Shoreham. Knowing them, they will be every bit as busy as they were in Camberwell.