London in December – Part 2

We attended two worship services and a music celebration during these few days in London.

We went to Evensong at Westminster Abbey.

The official name for this place is the Collegiate Church of St. Peter. The name Abbey comes from the fact that it was originally the church of an ancient abbey. It is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in England. Once a Catholic Church, it was taken over by Henry VIII.

Both photos above are from the worldwide web, not from my own work.

Evensong is a one-hour daily service, usually at 5:00 PM, of Scriptures, prayers and songs. Some songs by the small choir and some by the congregation. It is held in a small choir area. The choir consisted this time of about 12 men. At other times it may include boys; it never includes women, to my knowledge. However, women are some of the service leaders and readers.

The service folder noted that worship has been offered here daily for over 1,000 years, first in a monastic community, and since 1560 by members of the present collegiate foundation. The folder also included the observation that in worship, and specifically in the reading of the Scriptures, the Christian faith looks both backwards to its roots and forward to God’s action yet to come. What an important reminder about the scope of true worship!

In the midst of our work and sightseeing in was good to take this time to worship, meditate and pray.

Then on a Saturday afternoon we went to the Royal Albert Hall.

The Hall seats 5,222 people, I learned from one of the ushers.

The second photo above is from the web.

The event was John Rutter’s Christmas Celebration. You may know of Mr. Rutter from the many pieces he has written or arranged for church music. He directed this program, with delightful, informative and witty introductions to the various songs, which were played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and sung by the Choir of the Royal Hospital School from near Ipswich, in Suffolk. The audience sang along on several songs.

The whole celebration was marvelous. All but two pieces were religious works. The salvation meaning of the birth of Christ was sounded out with unmistakable clarity to the thousands who attended.

On Sunday morning, December 13, we attended the service at All Soul’s Church.

The message was a clear exposition of a portion of Romans, with excellent application to life today. And a small orchestra accompanied the singing. I can see why people attend this God-honoring and life-giving church.

I was impressed that their poster for the Christmas season showed their heart for reaching the contemporary people of London.

One more image from this London experience.

This is the sight that greeted everyone as they entered Heathrow Airport – a Salvation Army ensemble playing, with a receptacle for donations for their work for Christ. It warmed my heart.

Thanks for traveling with us. Thanks for your prayers.

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5 Responses

  1. Beautiful church pictures.

  2. Thanks for the time and energy you put into preparing these posts. They are great! It’s fun to travel along with you. Blessings!

  3. Jeannie and I have considered All Souls our church in London. We tend to like the evening services, usually complete with orchestra.

    Sometimes we have attended Regent Hall, a Salvation Army congregation just around the corner from All Souls, at 275 Oxford Street.

    • JoLene and I agree with you about the quality of the Sunday evening services, and yes, the orchestra is a special part.
      I had not noticed the Salvation Army Corps (or whatever they call it) on Oxford Street. I hope to look it up in the future.
      John

  4. What an absolutely wonderful journey. I am so thankful that you took us all along on this blessed adventure. The pictures were wonderful, some completely taking my breath away. Our God sure did create a beautiful world.

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