with the All Souls Orchestra
Royal Albert Hall
Saturday 5 May 2018
A Pilgrimage of Song
Saturday 1 July 2017
Fynn Valley, near Ipswich
A joint event with Cantus Firmus Trust and St Edmundsbury Cathedral's InHarmony Project
Around 50 singers, with ages ranging from 15 to 80, took part in the Pilgrimage of Song. Walkers gathered at Martlesham Church, where the day began with a singing workshop and a short service. The company then walked along the Fynn Valley to the tiny church at Culpho, calling at Little Bealings and Playford churches along the way. A service was sung at each church, exploring the theme of Peter, the disciple of Jesus whom he named “Rock”.
The event was led by Richard Hubbard, St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Music Development Director, and Artistic Director of Cantus Firmus Trust, with prayers and reflections provided by Wendy Hubbard, and Rev. Celia Cook, Priest in Charge at three of the churches. The music was wide-ranging, including Taizé and African chants, anthems, hymns and worship songs, accompanied at the organ and piano by Andrew Gosden.
Richard says: “Pilgrimages of Song are not just a series of services separated by a long walk, but an opportunity to encounter God in the beauty of the countryside, in the richness of music, and in shared conversations, as well as in the tranquillity of the churches.”
At each church, walkers were welcomed with refreshments provided by parishioners, and the day ended with a hot meal in Culpho Church.
This was Cantus Firmus Trust's fourth Pilgrimage of Song, prevoius ones having been held in Tollesbury and Mersea Island, Essex, and in the Bucklesham - Waldringfield - Newbourne area in Suffolk.
The event owes its inspiration to the annual Knighton Pilgrimage of Song, held over three days on the Welsh Borders, with Geoff Weaver (a Cantus Firmus trustee).
“The choice of music underpinned by scripture and reflections enables a real sense of worship - of singing the faith”.
“I will remember this as one of the best days of singing with Cantus Firmus.
I nearly didn't make the Pilgrimage, but I am so pleased I did. It will remain in my memory as an experience I will treasure.