This penultimate Sunday before Christmas there has been an abundance of choice of evening Christmas services in the Church of England churches within 15 minutes of home. I chose to go to Holy Trinity, Sloane Street, a church with a fine acoustic for music, and a choir including an absolutely first class group of boy choristers. There is also a fabulous Harrison and Harrison organ, a recently completed rebuild and extension of the old Walker organ that was damaged in World War 2. It showed its magnificence this evening - a wonderful addition to the list of great organs enjoyed by Londoners.
The history of this late 19th century chuch is inextricably connected with the Arts and Crafts movement - the huge east window is the work of William Morris and Burne-Jones. It is a lovely place, very much of its period.
I was thrilled to be there and to hear the really fine trebles - there were three outstanding soloists on parade today. Gorgeous sound, impeccable intonation, and fearless soaring into the stratosphere - all spot on. It raised a tear for me - I was a reasonably successful treble soloist in my day - 60 years ago. I was completely absorbed in those days in the music of the Anglican church and those Christmas musical events were pretty defining moments.
And this evening we also had candles - the whole congregation (500+?) was issued with one at the door. You can imagine the moment of lighting up. Magic.
I have more nice seasonal things coming up in the next seven days. I am enjoying London in the pre-Christmas season.