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
Victoria Consort:

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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

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

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73-pilgern-15Saturday 25th July 2015 2pm-6.30pm Minster Abbey, Minster,

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 to register for this event.

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Magna-carta-imageSaturday 13th June 2015
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
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

For more information about the Canterbury trail day, ‘Singing Justice and Injustice’ and other local events look at this link:

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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, so we have enough music copies ready. Refreshments available from 9.45.

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A morning in Canterbury Cathedral looking at vestments

New Chairman David Broadbridge tries out vestments in Canterbury Cathedral

New Chairman David Broadbridge tries out vestments in Canterbury Cathedral

Last Saturday we had a really interesting morning in Canterbury Cathedral with Assistant Vesturer Sally Such showing us some of the glorious vestments the Clergy use on both ordinary and special occasions. At our subsequent AGM David Broadbridge became Chairman. Here he is modelling a lovely green chasuble. It was great to have another one of our Members, Susan, with us who also helps with repairing/altering the Cathedral’s liturgical garments. She says most of her work is sewing up holes in pockets! We looked at a number examples with gold thread on them. Susan told us about the practicalities of sewing gold thread. You have to ‘couch’ it, i.e. keep it in place by stitching it to the surface of the fabric with ordinary thread. You cannot actually sew through the fabric with gold thread. We saw some fantastic examples of design and embroidery. Many thanks to Sally Such and Christopher Crooks, the Cathedral Vesturer, for hosting our visit.

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Great Vespers for Schola Augustini in Ramsgate

Rehearsing on Saturday morning with Thomas Neal at the helmSchola Augustini

The Schola after Vespers and Benediction on Sunday with Rev.Marcus HoldenSchola Augustini 2

An enthusiastic crowd gathered on the morning of Saturday 24th January; the bright sunlight in contrast to the bitter cold. The Schola Augustini practice had attracted people from nearby Ramsgate and as far away as Canterbury and Faversham. Thomas Neal, the Director of Music at St. Augustine’s Abbey, took us through the chant for Vespers and Benediction with good-humoured discipline and plenty of explanation and encouragement. The following afternoon a good proportion of Saturday’s singers reappeared for a final practice and the service itself. Our singing went really well. The monstrance glinting in the darkness and the clouds of incense caught wafting in the candle-light lent a most particular atmosphere to the occasion. This service will occur on the fourth Sunday of the month, rehearse at 4pm for Vespers & Benediction at 5pm at St. Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate.

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