Celebrating Women's Gifts

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Mar, 2019 01:18 PM

The third annual ecumenical celebration of women’s gifts of music, words and Ministry is taking place in Salisbury this weekend.

The service, celebrating International Women’s Day, will include music led by Godolphin Vocal Ensemble with harpist Katie Salomon and the preacher will be Bishop Karen.

Louise Stewart from St Thomas' Church in Salisbury said:
"This is our third such service and year on year we see progress in terms of women’s inclusion within the liturgy. There is now a wave of progress across the country and many churches are marking IWD this year, and we are really proud to have been at the start of this women-in-church-music project. It would be great to have a church full of men, women and children!

"Women composers are significantly under-represented within the music of Anglican worship, and we are working to address this under-representation. This year, we commissioned Gemma McGregor to write ‘Love Was His Meaning’, an anthem for sopranos, altos and harp, using as its text words by Dame Julian of Norwich, fifteenth-century mystic, translated by local historian and dialectician, Alison Daniell. The world premiere of ‘Love Was His Meaning’ will be given by Godolphin School Vocal Ensemble, under their director, Olivia Sparkhall.

"This commission is part of a larger set of pieces, ‘All Shall be Well’, of which the last anthem will be composed for us next year by Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music."

Other compositions within the service, which takes place on Friday 8 March at 6pm, include works by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, Nadia Boulanger, Olivia Sparkhall, Millicent Kingham, Jessie Seymour Irvine and Anna Appleby.

Authors of texts include Jane Austen, Rachel Curzon - local poet and winner of the BBC Proms Poem Competition (2018) - and Love Maria Whitcomb Willis.

The service will last one hour and refreshments will be available afterwards.

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