Monthly Choral Evensong begins at Our Most Holy Redeemer on Exmouth Market this Sunday 4th December
By EC1 Echo
The church of Our Most Holy Redeemer on Exmouth Market is already renowned for its striking Italianate architecture, but less well known for its music. That is set to change. With the appointment of a new choir director to work alongside the organist, the choral music programme is quickly expanding and beginning to make waves. “It’s no exaggeration to say that we now have some of the finest singers in London beautifying our worship on the first Sunday of the month as well as during Holy Week and at Easter,” says Fr Christopher Trundle, Vicar of Holy Redeemer. “It’s a real gift to be shared.”
Daniel Gethin was appointed the church’s first Director of Choral Music last year, and understands the unique oppor tunities for music making here: “I’m coming to appreciate the beauty of the space and what a special opportunity it provides for music, particularly polyphonic choral repertoire from 15th and 16th centuries.”
Thomas Kell, Holy Redeemer’s Director of Music and organist has been instrumental in sustaining the musical life of the parish during his tenure. He plays the church’s historic Victorian organ which was installed by the famous organ builder Henry Willis shortly after the building opened in 1888. Although it’s now in need of major restoration, Thomas enjoys the organ’s quality and character, reflecting that these pipes – once heard by Queen Victoria and composer Felix Mendelssohn – have graced innumerable weddings, baptisms and funerals alongside the regular round of services.
“The organ like the church is at the centre of life’s most important moments,” says Thomas. “Church musicians have this unique privilege of sharing in the joys and sorrows of a local community.” Adds Daniel, “Having developed such regular music here as we have over the last year and a half, it’s made a real difference to the reputation of the parish in musical circles.”
Only last month BBC Radio 3 came to Holy Redeemer to record three services of Compline, the ancient office of night prayer, for national broadcast.
Fr Christopher is also Vicar of the neighbouring church of St Mark’s, Myddelton Square, and he’s got plans for the music there as well. “I’m thrilled that we’ve secured the funding to introduce Choral Evensong at St Mark’s on the first Sunday of the month, beginning in December,” he says. “It’s been one of the mainstays of the Church of England’s worship for hundreds of years, and I hope it will provide a regular space for prayer, reflection and beauty in our busy world.”
For details of the choral music programme at both Holy Redeemer and St Mark’s: Visit holyredeemerclerkenwell.com/choral-music