Sunday 25th July at St James was certainly dramatic! A choir of 26 came to sing Evensong. The timings, music and personnel were as below. The whole service was particularly special both because it was our first service since the pandemic began and also because of the weather. The singing was very good and Oliver Bond supported us well on the organ with the vital help of several pumpers. However, as the light became ever darker at the beginning of the service – and the rain fell in torrents, mobile phone torches were much in evidence among the singers! During the service while Rev Sarah was preaching, at the moment that she mentioned “.. the Sons of Thunder..” the thunder thundered! During the latter part of the service, the clouds lifted and the light was much better. A sizeable congregation came for the service, and afterwards we were were kindly invited to take part in a typically splendid tea with the Trowers in the House next door.

For a number of years, EHCCA has been asked to sing for a special Evensong in the amazing and old church of St James, Stansteadbury.

This description is taken from the church’s website: St James’ has been a landmark for seven centuries. Built on a hillside above the River Lea, its embattled buttressed tower was a steering point for those on the water and a waymark for those on the ancient route to London. The church’s unspoiled interior has hardly been touched since Georgian times and features unusually high box pews and a three-decker pulpit. Monuments include that of a local nobleman, Sir Edward Baesh, who is shown kneeling opposite his wife.

DATE: Sunday 25th July 2021. REHEARSAL: on the day at 1.30. SERVICE: 4.00 p.m. The service is open to all who would like to attend; they can experience being in the high-sided box pews . All are invited to TEA and cakes which are very kindly provided by the Trower family at Stanstead Bury House close by (within easy walking distance).

ADDITIONAL REHEARSAL – DATE CHANGE: because EHCCA has not sung a service for such a long time, there will be an additional service before we sing at St James. This will be in Hertford Methodist Church at 9.30-11.00 on Saturday 24th July (i.e. the day before). The timing is to allow for the free parking time for 2 hours over the road in front of Costa Coffee/Pets at Home/etc.

MUSIC Introit: Tallis: If ye love me / Responses: Antony Wilson / Psalm 119 : 73-80 copy available here / Canticles: Stanford in C / Anthem: Rutter: For the beauty of the earth. Accompaniment is provided by the hand-blown (!) organ. Local pumpers help us to keep the music flowing…. The choir will NOT robe for this service but ladies are asked to wear black & white, and gentlemen – dark suits.

The choir will be directed by Derek Harrison. Oliver Bond will be the organist. Oliver will take the rehearsal the day before.

Directions: post code SG12 8JZ. Access from A414 (on Harlow to Amwell road), through Stanstead Abbotts or from Roydon. Parking is available by the stables and house (past the church).