Unseen Britain – Evensong at Tewkesbury Abbey

tewkesbury-abbey

For Evensong the congregation are allowed to sit in the choir stalls immediately behind the choir which was made up of ten boys and about ten men whose voices ranged from tenor right down to deep in the boots bass and baritone. Not sure if my terminology is right here but they could reach some low notes that resonated not only around the building but through me as well.  The bass singer was right in front of me so I was very privileged.

Inside the Abbey is very light and the evening we attended this was exaggerated as the evening sun was piercing the west window making the colours in the stain glass as vibrant and as warm as when they were originally made.

The service was a moment of peace and tranquillity and an opportunity to think.  My thoughts went to the craftsmen who made the stained glass windows, created the stone work that decorated the inside of the building and what their working conditions were like.  They also went to a friend who has finally returned safely from the Middle East for the last time.

The choir was small for such a big Abbey but what they lacked in quantity they more than compensated for in quality and volume.  Their singing was effortless unlike the wannabee celebs appearing on talent shows who always look in agony. At the entrance to the Abbey, inside, were displays celebrating the harvest.  Assorted vegetables and fruits.  Turnips, parsnips, apples, cauliflower all to represent the ending of the growing season.  Although I am not quite sure how a string of bright red chillies fitted into the historical context of celebrating the harvest from the local farms.

Well worth spending thirty minutes here at the end of the day.

 

tewkesbury-collage-1

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About alangrenville

I live in southern Britain near the fabulous New Forest. While studying for a BSc in International Studies I have developed a strong belief in 'NIBAW' or 'nothing is black and white'. Hence my favourite saying "Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" (John F Kennedy).
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