The Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy
Sunday 21 August to Sunday 28 August 2016
After the excitement of the last two years’ festivals, allowing us as they did to celebrate the installation of the new organ and the occasion of our 60th festival, we return to what might be termed a ‘normal’ festival!
The festival takes as its inspiration the ‘seven ages of man’ speech from As you like it. Whilst the ‘strange
eventful history’ it describes is at first glance somewhat gloomy, it provides an ideal foil for us to examine
each stage of life and consider our response as Christians to the joys as well as the many trials and
tribulations that each can bring. Each theme lends itself to some beautifully chosen works and readings
and particular highlights include Victoria’s Missa O magnum mysterium, Sir John Tavener’s The Lamb and
on Tuesday, The Spirit of the Lord from Elgar’s The Apostles. The BBC will broadcast Choral Evensong on
Wednesday 24 August and it will be a joy to hear Walton’s magnificent anthem The Twelve accompanied
by the new organ. We will also be delighted to broadcast the premiere of this year’s festival commission,
Mihi autem nimis by Francis Pott. Thursday’s ‘Soldier’ theme allows us to hear Guerrero’s wonderful
Missa De la batalla escoutez, whilst Friday’s ‘Justice’ sees a focus on wisdom and experience. Against this
background, the Requiem Mass acts as a precursor to the remaining daily themes of ‘Old Age’ and
‘Second Childhood’ and will include Howells’ sublime Take him, earth, for cherishing.
We have a largely unchanged festival team this year save that we are in an interregnum pending the
arrival of the new Vicar in the Autumn. We are extremely grateful to the Reverend Malcolm Wieck,
Church Wardens, Sheila Pinson and Sue Davies, and to the Benefice Administrator, Vanessa Lescott,
for all their hard work in making the festival run as smoothly as ever.
The annual meeting of the Friends of the Priory Church will be held on Saturday 27 August and we would urge you to consider joining this most important body that has done so much to ensure the Priory Church remains so beautiful and accessible. Over the past few years the Friends have been kind enough to extend an open invitation to their lunch, and due to the success of this the invitation is extended again. Tickets are £15 for the two-course meal (including a drink) and are available from Mrs Susie Hancock, Dunge Farm, West Ashton, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 6AX (Telephone 01225 754626). Please apply before 20 August by sending a stamped addressed envelope together with your cheque made payable to ‘The Friends of Edington Priory Church’. Tickets will not be available on the day and parking will be controlled in the usual manner for those with both a Disabled Blue Badge and a Festival Parking Pass that has been obtained from Mrs Joanna Robertson (for details, see the leaflet).
2014 and 2015 were not kind years to the festival so far as its alumni were concerned, and, following the loss of David Trendell and Lady Barbara Calcutt, it was tragic to learn of the death of another of the festival’s loyal supporters and servants, the Reverend John Streeting who for many years led our worship and music-making. We sing his Responses on Friday morning and will able to offer prayers for him and all others of our friends whom we see no more at a Requiem Mass on the evening of Friday 26 August. The setting will be Mozart’s Requiem.
The festival has achieved much over the past decade or so but its purpose and spirit remain clear and undimmed. Success can be deceptive, however, as it can allow people to think that the festival will always enjoy such prosperity without much apparent effort. The festival is entirely dependent on donations to survive and as the cost of living has increased (catering, postage, transport, etc. etc.) our income has remained static at best such that an average collection donation per attendance of £3.20 does not leave much room for manoeuvre. Only a few pennies more each would make all the difference; better still, become a member of the Festival Association. A form to enable you to do this can be found at http://www.edingtonfestival.org/festival_association.cfm .
We hope you will be able to join us to continue the worship which we offer as part of this very special festival.