We sing for the relic of St. Thomas from Esztergom, Hungary

During the last week of May a relic of St. Thomas of Canterbury was brought from Esztergom in Hungary to England. The relic was carried on a pilgrimage starting in Westminster and ending at Canterbury Cathedral.

CGMS waits to sing for St Thomas's relic

CGMS waits to sing for St Thomas’s relic

We had a last-minute opportunity to sing some chant to honour this relic. On the sunny afternoon of Saturday 28th May, we gathered at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels at Harbledown to set the pilgrimage procession away on its last leg.

The relic passes St. Thomas's Hospital on its way to the Cathedral

The relic passes St. Thomas’s Hospital on its way to the Cathedral

We sang ‘Felix locus’, the antiphon which says ‘Happy the place, happy the church where the memory of Thomas is cherished.’ After this the procession advanced forward. We joined in, walking all the way to the Cathedral. We attended the Service of Welcome where the Dean and the Bishop of Dover presided. After the service the relic was carried down to the altar of Our Lady Undercroft in the crypt. We followed and we were able to sing our antiphon again. It felt poignant to sing this in the Cathedral so close to where Thomas was murdered.
Photos by Marie Muscat-King: secretstudio@talktalk.net
St. Thomas's relic on the altar of Our Lady Undercroft in Canterbury Cathedral

St. Thomas’s relic on the altar of Our Lady Undercroft in Canterbury Cathedral

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2016 – FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Saturday 09/07/16: 12.00-12.15 ‘Angelus, Ave and Salve’
St. Peter’s Anglican Church, High Street, Canterbury CT1 2AT
rehearsal 11.15 to sing at 12 (Canterbury Mediaeval Day)
Saturday 23/07/16: 14.00-18.30, Chant afternoon at Minster Abbey near Ramsgate
Saturday 22/10/16: 10.00-12.00 ‘Gregorian 101’ taster morning for beginners at St. Thomas’s Church, Canterbury (Canterbury Festival ‘umbrella’ event)
Saturday 29/10/16: 13.00-14.00 ‘Chant for the Canterbury Saints’, 1-hour concert with organ alternatim and readings. St. Mildred’s Church, Canterbury
(Canterbury Festival event) http://www.canterburyfestival.co.uk
Sometimes we get short-notice opportunities to sing. If you would like to know more about these events and be on our mailing list for news and ‘scramble! scramble!’ opportunities, contact Jonathan Butchers: jonathan.butchers@gmail.com

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Souvenir: Felix Locus – Canterbury Cathedral

Our concert ‘Felix Locus’ with the Victoria Consort was a sell-out. Dr. Mark Bateson introduced the concert, placing the music in context with events connected to Magna Carta and the life of St. Thomas of Canterbury. The Victoria Consort was directed by guest conductor Christopher Watson. They sang the motets for St. Thomas with grace and authentic emotion._DSC3851 Our own contribution included the Sequence ‘Veni Sancte Spiritus’ honouring Archbishop Stephen Langton, and the chant ‘Felix Locus’ with the Magnificat honouring St. Thomas. The Victoria Consort sang alternate verses of the Magnificat in organum, giving a rich and sonorous colour to the canticle verses. The motets and chant rang authentically in the romanesque surroundings of Lanfranc’s Cathedral, St. Mary Undercroft in the crypt. It was a memorable event for all of us and a joy to sing with the Victoria Consort.
Photo: Marie Muscat-King secretstudio@talktalk.net
Victoria Consort: http://www.victoriaconsort.co.uk

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CANTERBURY FESTIVAL CONCERT – FELIX LOCUS

St. Thomas of Canterbury - window from Canterbury Cathedral

St. Thomas of Canterbury – window from Canterbury Cathedral

Friday 23rd October at 7.30 in Canterbury Cathedral Crypt
CGMS with The Victoria Consort
Guest Conductor
Christopher Watson

Narrators:
Mark Bateson and Philippa Jevons

We present a programme of Chant and Polyphony linked to Magna Carta, Archbishop Stephen Langton and St. Thomas of Canterbury. The 1-hour concert takes place in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral, a location contemporaneous with the events and characters evoked in our music. CGMS sings chants honouring St. Thomas of Canterbury. The Victoria Consort embellishes this with polyphony from the Middle Ages referring to the life and works of St. Thomas. Narrators Mark Bateson and Philippa Jevons give some context to the links between music and events and celebrate the legacy of Magna Carta. Tickets £20 from Canterbury Festival Box Office
http://www.canterburyfestival.co.uk

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CHANT AND AFTERNOON TEA AT MINSTER ABBEY CONSIDERING PILGRIMAGE

73-pilgern-15Saturday 25th July 2015 2pm-6.30pm Minster Abbey, Minster,
Near RAMSGATE, CT12 4HF

This year our visit to Minster Abbey falls on the feast of St. James, whose shrine in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela has been a principal destination for pilgrims for centuries. We hear about the older traditions of Pilgrimage and some narrative on the modern pilgrim from Jonathan Butchers, one of our members who has walked from his own front door in Canterbury to this shrine. We will find out about music associated with pilgrimages over the ages. Our generous break will give time for friendly conversation, tea-drinking, eating the cakes and an opportunity to look round the Abbey. Following this some coaching from Mother Nikola will prepare us to join the Community to sing Vespers at 6pm.
There is good access for anyone with mobility problems.
Minster train station is a 5 minute walk away.
We will meet in the Parkminster Building at 1.45 for 2pm.
This event is FREE for members, £5 for non-members
Includes, music, hand-outs, tea and cakes.
Please contact jonathan.butchers@gmail.com to register for this event.

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MAGNA CARTA – OUR TRIBUTES

Magna-carta-imageSaturday 13th June 2015
CANTERBURY MAGNA CARTA TRAIL
We will be singing ‘The Angelus, the Ave and the Salve’ for St.Thomas Becket in the Eastbridge Hospital, High Street, Canterbury CT1 2BD at 2pm and 3pm. This service lasts about 10 minutes. This event is free of charge. For anyone wishing to join in our group, we will be rehearsing at St. Thomas’s Church, Burgate, CT1 2HJ at 12.30. The music is approachable to learn.

MONDAY 15th JUNE at 7pm – Archbishop’s Palace, Maidstone, ME15 6YE
‘SINGING JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE’
A tribute to Magna Carta featuring contemporary folk music, poetry and gregorian chant. Our contribution will form the second half of the concert. We will sing music connected to Archbishop Stephen Langton and St.Thomas Becket, concluding with a short version of Compline. We finish the event by singing the Solemn Salve close to Magna Carta. Rehearsal will be at 5.30 in the Archbishop’s Palace. Tickets are £7.50 and include wine at the interval.
To book, telephone 03000 414404 or email PALibArMaTea01@kent.gov.uk

For more information about the Canterbury trail day, ‘Singing Justice and Injustice’ and other local events look at this link: http://www.magnacartarediscovered.co.uk/?cat=4

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GREGORIAN 101 in Canterbury

chant-300SATURDAY 18th April 10.00-11.30
St. Thomas’s Church, Burgate Canterbury CT1 2HJ. A taster session for beginners, plenty of singing beautiful music, looking at how to read the neumes, a bit about Latin pronunciation and so on. We will learn some things which will be in our forthcoming MAGNA CARTA events in June.
This is a free event, but we ask that you register with jonathan.butchers@gmail.com, so we have enough music copies ready. Refreshments available from 9.45.

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