Friends' events

The Friends of the City Churches are currently offering a series of talks online via the Zoom video conferencing service (https://zoom.us). Zoom is free and easy to join, and you can use it to stay in touch with friends and family, and enjoy many talks and other entertainment online.

Please book through the Eventbrite ticketing service (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk). This is also free and easy to join, and a gateway to all kinds of other events online. Booking helps us to predict numbers, and automates the delivery process so that you will receive booking confirmation, reminders and a clickable link to join the talk shortly before the event.

With greater capacity for events online than in person, the Friends' Zoom lectures are open to the public to offer non-members a sample of our activities. On booking, we ask for a modest donation, payable through Eventbrite, to support the work of the Friends of the City Churches, and this ongoing lecture programme, open to all while we continue to hold events online.

Talks last about an hour, with questions and answers to follow. As this content is the speakers' own intellectual property, often developed over years of research, these talks will not be recorded for later broadcast.

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On Wednesday, 22 June 2022 at 11:00am BST, City Guide Ian Fagelson leads our first live walk since March 2020, tracing the thousand-year history of The Jews in London; members' only booking through May's Skyline.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Platinum Jubilee Evensong scheduled for 29 June 2022 has been cancelled. We are very sorry to disappoint you, but hope you will join us next year, when the Wren 300  commemorations mark the tercentenary of the death of the great architect of so many City churches (https://wren300.org/). We will refund those who generously donated to the Friends in anticipation of this evensong, with thanks for your support. Please keep an eye on City Events for news of other Jubilee activities in the City of London churches.

On Thursday, 7 July 2022 at 3:00pm BST, the Friends of the City Churches will hold their Annual General Meeting for the financial year 2021/22 at St Mary Abchurch, London EC4N 7BA. Friends are encouraged to reserve a place to attend in person through May's Skyline; those on the Friends' e-mail circulation list will be sent a link to book for the private Zoom live stream.

On Monday, 11 July 2022 at 2:00pm BST, popular author Mark Mason returns with Question Time, another offbeat exploration of the modern British life, this time through a nationwide survey of quiz nights – including a few questions on the City of London churches for this special performance in Wren's masterpiece, St Stephen Walbrook. Members' only booking, to attend in person, through Skyline and the FCC e-mail list; if any tickets remain, limited public booking opens in June.

On Thursday, 21 July 2022 at 2:00pm BST, City Guide and retired banker Tim Kidd looks behind closed doors to introduce the Bank of England's Art Collection in an illustrated lecture at St Mary Abchurch. Members' only booking to attend in person, through Skyline and the FCC e-mail list; all welcome to follow the Zoom live stream via Eventbrite (£5): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-bank-of-england-art-collection-zoom-tickets-312111222067.



The Grinling Gibbons Society will present a series of live events at St Mary Abchurch to mark the tercentenary of the death of master carver Grinling Gibbons (4 April 1648 - 3 August 1721). The magnificent reredos above the communion table at St Mary Abchurch is the only authenticated work by Gibbons in the City of London parish churches. Correspondence in his own hand demonstrates that he had to press for payment once the carving was "folle Anof of work"; his spelling in these and other letters suggests that he could write both Dutch and English, and spoke with a Dutch accent.

A full year's programme of events around the country follows throughout 2022; please visit the Grinling Gibbons Society for more information on forthcoming exhibitions, lectures and concerts.

Grinling Gibbons Concerts

A series of live rush-hour concerts at St Mary Abchurch will explore the words and music of Gibbons' time. Tickets are £15 full price, or £10 concession for members of the Grinling Gibbons Society and The Friends of the City Churches); tickets must be reserved in advance by contacting christina@hemsley.com, and paid in cash on the door. Each concert will last approximately one hour.

Thursday, 28 April 2022 at 6:30 pm
Gibbons, A Musical Man, 1648-1721
ArchiCantiores perform words and music which Gibbons may have known. Readings and poems inspired by carvings include 'Linden Antiphon' and other commissioned poems by Paul Munden and Oliver Comins, alongside the works of James Shirley, Robert Johnson, John Evelyn, John Donne and Samuel Pepys. Musical settings across 350 years include catches and broadsheets, trios and quartets by Henry Purcell, Matthew Locke, George Frederick Handel, Christopher Gibbons, and Thomas Campion. Presented by ArchiCantiores’ wordsmiths and musicians Marion Wyllie (mezzo), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Jonathan Louth (baritone) and Charles Gibbs (bass), led by Jonathan Louth, Advisor to the Legacy Project of the Grinling Gibbons Tercentenary.

On Thursday, 5 May 2022 at 6:30 pm
Songs of love, passion and devotion from the time of Grinling Gibbons
Mezzo-soprano Catherine King and harpist Frances Kelly perform music by Blow, Banister, Croft, Purcell, Geminiani and Handel.

On Thursday, 26 May 2022 at 6:30 pm
Ye Leaves be Green

London's musical landscape from the Middle Ages to the time of Grinling Gibbons featuring music by William Byrd, Matthew Locke, Henry Purcell and Antony Holborne, performed by the Guildhall Recorder Consort with a programme devised and directed by Professor Ian Wilson.

Stained glass window

 

Wooden Boss