Capella perform at Irish language Carol Service

Members of Capella sang the Irish language Carol Service at St George’s Church, Belfast last Sunday afternoon. They sang a work in English by Scottish composer, James MacMillan and in Irish by McGlynn. The carols were sung through Irish and the readings and prayers equally so. The congregation, many of whom had travelled a great distance, were charmed by the manner in which the choir sang and the etiquette with which they composed themselves.

Advent Carol Service

Our annual Advent Carol Service will take place this Sunday, December 3rd at 5pm featuring anthems and motets such as Hosanna to the Son of David by Weelkes, Nova by Chilcott, The truth from above by Vaughan Williams and other advent carols. All most welcome.

Ben Lowry: A grant for one of Belfast’s finest church choirs, which steers clear of happy clappy

‘A cathedral choir in all but name’ is how Mr Edward Bevin of Friends of Cathedral Music described our choir. A true compliment and well deserved given the hard work and commitment put in weekly by the choristers, musical directors, organists, music committee, administrators and congregation. It is a true privilege to be a continuing part of the heritage and legacy of centuries of sacred music. This year, the choir will sing ‘Quatre motets’ by Duruflé, ‘Blessed city’ by Bairstow and Finzi’s ‘Lo the full final sacrifice’.

Thanks to Ben Lowry, News Letter Deputy Editor for his coverage

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/opinion/ben-lowry-a-grant-for-one-of-belfast-s-finest-church-choirs-which-steers-clear-of-happy-clappy-1-8186449

Harvest Festival this Sunday

The Church is all decorated and ready for our Harvest Festival tomorrow (Sunday 8th October) at 11am. Join us for the Eucharist when the setting will be Stanford in B and F and the Anthem ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’. The Preacher will be Rev. Dr John Medhurst.

Friends of Cathedral Music present Parish Choir with £20,000 grant

Thank you to the huge congregation at Evensong on Sunday afternoon, October 1st. The Festival Choral Evensong saw the Choir presented with a significant grant from the Friends of Cathedral Music to help develop musical tuition and training within the Church. The support for St George’s Parish Choir was fabulous.

Thank you especially to Mr and Mrs Bevin from St Alban’s who travelled from England to represent the Friends of Cathedral Music. Local representative and assistant treasurer Mr Donald Kerr presented the cheque for £20,000.

Mr Bevin, was delighted with the choir and will report back favourably to his colleagues in England. The award is the highest ever made to such a choir in all of Ireland.
We also welcomed seven new choristers at the service: Henry Greenlees, Connor Houston, David Johnston, William Magee, Eoghan McEnerney, Jake Rosetto and Billy Whitten.

Dates for your diary

Mark Wardil

Two dates for your diary and two significant days in the life of the Parish.

On Wednesday 27th September at 8pm our Rector’s Churchwarden, Mark Wardil will be commissioned as a Lay Reader by Bishop Alan Abernethy.

Then on Sunday 1st October the Friends of Cathedral Music will be present at our Choral Evensong at 5pm. They have recently awarded the Choir a significant grant and the service, followed by refreshments, will be an opportunity for us to thank them for their generosity.

All very welcome at both these services.

Award of grant from Friends of Cathedral Music

On October 1st, a very special evensong will take place at 5.00pm in St. George’s Church, Belfast. The Friends of Cathedral Music will present the Parish Choir with a grant for £20,000 in order to further the work of the choir. The Parish Choir, made up of 19 choristers, 6 choral scholars and 10 gentlemen will sing the service, at which 7 new choristers will be installed into the choir, receiving their surplice and their own, personalised  hymn book.

The choristers come from a variety of schools around Belfast and Lisburn and rehearse on Thursday evenings with the gentlemen and on Friday afternoons alongside the probationers or new recruits. The training of the choir is managed jointly by David and Maeve Falconer, David directs the choir, Maeve recruits and trains the probationers and provides one to one singing lessons for the 6 choral scholars. They are assisted at the organ on Sunday mornings by Mr Ian MacKrell, and at evensongs and festival services by Mr Mark McGrath. The choristers also receive lessons in Music theory from music under-graduate, Mr Ryan Garnham. The choristers pass into the back row seamlessly after voice break and, as choral scholars, may move on to university choral scholarships. This year Michael Hong leaves to take up a choral scholarship in Clare College, Cambridge while former organ scholar, Donal McCann takes up the position of organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge. Organ scholarships are also available at St George’s, with tuition provided by Mr Mark McGrath.

The Church of Ireland offers a rich variety of services, some based more loosely on the Book of Common Prayer, others based entirely on it. St George’s in Belfast and St Bartholomew’s in Dublin offer Choral Eucharists sung by advanced parish choirs of boys and men, using the BCP liturgy to its fullest.
The Friends of Cathedral Music is a charity with a mission to maintain and progress Cathedral music. As such, it offers grants to cathedrals in order to help them to meet the costs of developing and maintaining the choirs. They have a special fund reserved for choirs made up of trebles and men. Although we are a parish church, the exceptional tradition and standards upheld in St George’s were deemed worthy of investment and the Parish Choir has been awarded a grant of £20,000. The choir is greatly indebted to Friends of Cathedral Music for this tremendous support and acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment from the Director of Music, teachers, organists, men and boys of St George’s Church, Belfast.

William Jeffrey ordained in St Columbanus’ Ballyholme

William Jeffrey pictured at his Ordination in Ballyholme

On Sunday 3 September, William Jeffrey was ordained deacon to serve in Killaney and Carryduff.

The ordination took place in the recently refurbished Ballyholme Parish Church. Bishop Harold Miller ordained four deacons for internships in Down and Dromore and the preacher at the service was Canon Dr Christina Baxter CBE. Christina is an Anglican theologian and was Principal of St John’s College, Nottingham, for 15 years, retiring in 2012.

Also ordained alongside William were Andrew Irwin to serve in Donaghcloney, Myrtle Morrison for Craigavon and Maithrie White–Dundas to serve in Ballyholme (pictured below).

Speaking ahead of his ordination, William said: “Born in Newtownards, I grew up in Dundonald and Holywood and now live in East Belfast. I’ve been married to Alison for over 29 years and we have three sons.

“Prior to my full–time training at CITI, I worked for almost 33 years as a Northern Ireland Civil Servant.

“My Christian journey to date has been largely influenced by both Anglicanism and Presbyterianism and my sending parish is St George’s Belfast. I am very thankful to my parents for nurturing me in the Christian faith from childhood and pointing me in the right direction.

“Within the life of the Church I have a keen interest in mission – in all the various forms that this takes. I have been privileged to experience overseas work amongst the abandoned street boys of Peru and this summer I was on a CMSI/CITI placement to the Diocese of Northern Zambia.

“As a consequence, an inspiring verse for me is from the Gospel of St Matthew, Chapter 25 and verse 40:– “And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”(NRSV).