For details, see
OTHER USERS AND CONCERTS
For several years now the British Orthodox Church
(a Coptic congregation, worshipping in English) has celebrated a
monthly liturgy on Saturday mornings, with a monthly midweek prayer and
On Saturdays, the Soytten Sen School of Performing Arts
rehearses in church, and performs regularly around Tower Hamlets as well as in church. They
are committed to passing on the rich traditions of Bengali folksong, dance and
drama to the rising generation - for instance, in 2011 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) - and we are glad to be associated with them.
We host, or organise ourselves, series of concerts and one-off events:
- in 2008 Art Impact Project organised
concerts, linked to art displays; the group has since moved elsewhere, but we keep in touch.
- in 2009 and 2010 our then-director of music, Elspeth Wilkes, organised three series of Sunday afternoon recitals, with performances of the highest quality.
- Since 2011 local musician Fred Thomas, of F-IRE Klang Codex [right], has organised a wide range of concerts with his friends and colleagues, including avant garde jazz,
contemporary song, and a series making imaginative links between
contemporary and older music (with an emphasis on
his great love for Bach). All the performers are highly talented, and a
good number of them have gone on to use the church to record CDs,
finding the space and the acoustic very sympathetic. More details here, and video clips here.
- a local group Gaudeamus performed here in November 2011, and the London Transport choir gave a concert on 24 March 2012.
- we also welcomed the London Gallery Quirein
2011. Although our church never had west gallery musicians (we had
an organ from the start) their visit was a kind of 'reclaiming' the
church for the style of music that would have been sung here before
Bryan King introduced a surpliced choir in the sanctuary! We have
maintained contact with this splendid group, who plan to come and sing
a harvest festival service for us.
- in 2012 several students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance arranged concerts for their friends and supporters.
- Among the choirs performing in 2012 were the Brown Derbies, an a cappella choir from Brown University. Rhode Island, in aid of International Alert, and St Andrew's University Madrigal Group.
- In 2014 we were delighted to host one of the Sangerstevne concerts - the June 2014 newsletter
includes details of this, and links to the three choirs who performed:
one from Italy, one a London-based Bulgarian choir, and one a black a cappella group from Redbridge.
We have not
just one, but two, good grand pianos - a fine Blüthner,
recently-restored, and a late-Victorian Broadwood.
the children of our church school, St Paul's CE Whitechapel, come to church for special
services at least twice a term, and individual classes come at other
times. The London Diocesan
Board for Schools provides support for governors and staff,
and resources for festivals. The most recent denominational inspection rated
the school as 'outstanding' in all four categories - distinciveness and
effectiveness as a Church of England School (serving a Muslim-majority
intake), collective worship, religious education, leadership and
management. Other school groups, primary and secondary, visit for various curriculum projects - not
only RE, but history, geography and art (for example, this Religion
and Place project
by Building Exploratory). Students from colleges
universities study the building and
context. And adults
come, as groups and individuals, often as part of local history or
Hawksmoor trails, or during the Open House, East London Heritage, and Ride+Stride
We are always
glad to welcome them - particularly those who, out of
courtesy and good sense, tell us in advance that they are coming!
Here is a short video made in 2008 for Cancer Research.
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