Anthem Composition Competition attracted International Response

We launched an anthem composition competition last year to celebrate our Tercentenary in 2019.  The competition, open to young composers under the age of 28, asked entrants to set a text from the Old Testament Book of Haggai in the form of a short anthem for choir and organ.

The closing date for receiving entries was 11 January 2019 and the response we have received from entrants has gone well beyond expectations, delighting the competition’s organiser, Mary-Jannet Leith.

“We sent out details to music colleges and music departments in universities last September, hoping that the competition would attract and encourage young composers to engage with sacred choral music.  We are very pleased to have received a total of 31 entries – well beyond our initial expectations,” she said.

Crown Court Church organ

“In addition to many entries from the UK, we have been overwhelmed by a number of international submissions from across Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Brazil.”

It is now down to the judges to select the anthems to be performed at the competition finals, to be held in the church on 16 February.

Entries will be adjudicated by eminent British composer Professor Robert Saxton (Worcester College, Oxford), Kyle Macdonald (Senior Social Media Editor, Classic FM), and Director of Music at Crown Court Church, Dr Geoffrey Higgins.

The winner will have their anthem performed by the choir during the Tercentenary Celebration Service to be held in the church on Sunday 24 March, the three-hundredth anniversary of the first service in this church on the site in March 1719.

2019 – our Tercentenary Year

We’ve been talking about it and planning for it for long enough, and now the year has dawned!  If you’ve bought one of our calendars with stunning photos of the church by Chris Close (and there are still some left if you haven’t yet got yours), you should have entered some of the important dates in your diary by now.  But here they are again, just to make sure you’ve got them:

Saturday 16 February: Tercentenary Anthem Competition Judging Event at 7 pm in the church and hall

Saturday 16 March: church spring clean – we need as many people as possible to turn out this year as we must get every nook and cranny of the building sparkling in preparation for ….

Sunday 24 March: Tercentenary Celebration Service, with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland as preacher and a number of former Ministers and Assistant Ministers and former members as invited guests

Friday 3 May: Tercentenary Ball at the Caledonian Club

Saturday/Sunday 4/5 May: choir reunion weekend

Sunday 21 July: post service garden party in the Martlett Court Garden, by kind permission of the residents of Martlett Court

Saturday 19 October: Tercentenary Ceilidh at St Columba’s Church, Pont Street.

Further details of each of these events will be available in due course, so keep an eye on the weekly church notices, the website and the next newsletter.  There may also be other events throughout the year, and we’ll keep you up-to-date as plans develop.  Let’s celebrate!

Women Together

You will have seen Mary-Jannet Leith’s report of the pilot project which has been running in the church hall on alternate Thursdays during the autumn.  These sessions for homeless women in our neighbourhood have been run in collaboration with The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields, West London Mission and The Passage, and have been a great success.  The Kirk Session and the charities have agreed to continue with the project, once again on a fortnightly basis on Thursday afternoons, and the first meeting will take place on 24 January.  There may be scope for further volunteers from the church to take part in these sessions, so if you are interested please contact Geordie Fergusson for further information.  Because this is a project for vulnerable women, only female volunteers are acceptable, and you would also have to go through the DBS checking process before being able to take part.

AGM of Churches Together in Westminster

This year’s AGM of Churches Together in Westminster will take place at the Salvation Army Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, W1C 2DJ at 6:30pm on Monday 21 January 2019.  All are welcome.

The main purpose of this year’s meeting is to explore the model of mission (congregation, compassion, culture and commerce) advocated by HeartEdge, a new ecumenical movement for renewal.  Before this from 6.30 to 7 pm, reports on CTiW activities during 2018 will be presented.

Burns Supper Saturday 2 February 2019

The Annual Burns Supper organised by the Rambling and Social Club will take place in the church hall on Saturday 2 February at 6.30 for 7 pm – this year we’re very grateful to the Globetrotters for agreeing to move their monthly meeting from the first Saturday in February to the second Saturday in order to enable us to have our Burns Supper on a date a little nearer to the Bard’s actual birthday!

There will be all the usual speeches, the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties, and of course, the chance to take to the floor and show off your Scottish country dancing skills.

Tickets are available from Margaret Ross, but be sure to place your order (and pay your money – price £20) early to avoid disappointment.