If you happened to be walking past St Giles’ on a Saturday in mid-December, you might have been surprised to hear the sound of over 400 people singing Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ with the church organ. You might have heard Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas’ as well or even Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ around the Christmas tree’ along with many other pop classics through the course of the evening.
Of course, it could only have been ‘Organoke’, our joyful ‘alternative carol service’. Our ‘authentic’ carol service took place the very next evening, and this year it was Victorian-themed. The church looked splendid, bedecked with holly and ivy, and we also welcomed a very special guest..
‘Boris’ the wild boar cake was carried into church as the choir sang the boar’s head carol, which dates back to the 15th century. Our church was packed again and there was a wonderful atmospheric as carols were sung by candlelight. ‘Boris’ was a Victoria sponge cake covered in chocolate – he was very tasty indeed!
After all the excitement, ‘Music for the Winter Solstice’ was our way of providing a short escape from the Christmas buzz. A meditative programme of mostly 21st Century organ music by candlelight was well attended and we hope to do something similar again next year – or perhaps even for the summer solstice in June.
Thank you to all who have helped us to make St Giles’ a very merry place in the run-up to Christmas. Best wishes to all in advance of the big day.
Our 2018 Remembrance events at St Giles’ brought together scouts, schools, councillors, choirs and charities to remember Camberwellians caught up in the events of World War I over a century ago.
Our ‘Music and Stories for a past Century’ was particularly moving. Many thanks to Southwark Councillors, Ian Wingfield and Cleo Soames, as well as Lyndhurst Primary School Yr 6 Choir, Camberwell 23rd Scout Group, Wilson’s Grammar School, Dulwich Hamlet FC, Friends of Burgess Park, Friends of St Giles’ and all those who contributed to the evening.
After the Act of Remembrance at 11am on Sunday 11th November, a ‘Come and sing’ choir began rehearsing with soloists to perform Fauré’s beautiful requiem in the evening. Music by composers involved in the war – George Butterworth, Roger Quilter, Vaughan Williams, Gerald Finzi and Ivor Gurney was also performed.
If you couldn’t make the concert, all the music is now available on our YouTube music channel which you can access below.