Safari Evensong Report and Pictures

Singers preparing to rehearse at Chipperfield

An enjoyable Safari Evensong was held on the afternoon of Sunday 10th June, marking RSCM Music Sunday, in three rural churches of Rickmansworth deanery at St. Lawrence, Bovingdon, Holy Cross, Sarratt and St. Paul, Chipperfield. Some twenty singers from seven choirs assembled for a general rehearsal at Chipperfield before setting out in convoy to sing BCP Evensong in instalments at the three churches, finishing back at Chipperfield and concluding with a generous tea provided by helpers from that church.

Bovingdon Church

The music, chosen to suit those participating, centred around canticles in D by Charles Wood and the anthem O how amiable are thy dwellings, commissioned from Malcolm Archer for the centenary of St  John, Harpenden in 2004. Ferial responses were used, alongside psalm 15 and four hymns, the whole event also commemorating the Eve of St. Barnabas.


Roger Carter preparing to conduct at Sarratt

Roger Carter directed the choir, with Nicholas King at the three very different organs. Rev Charles Burch officiated at Bovingdon, and Rev Michele du Saire at Sarratt and Chipperfield; we are grateful to both for their positive support and encouragement of the venture. We were pleased to attract reasonable numbers in the congregations (including some who travelled round with us); at Sarratt, the event coincided with their Village Day and a flower festival at the church, enhancing the enjoyment of the occasion for all concerned.

Singers at Sarratt where a Flower Festival was being held














We received feedback which was almost unreservedly positive, especially regarding the choice of music and the relaxed atmosphere of the afternoon. There could have been a little more breathing space in what turned out to be quite a tight schedule; and although the intention had been to learn the music on the day, some would have welcomed a longer period to prepare. We take these (and other) points on board for planning a repeat event elsewhere in our Area.

Nicholas King


Nicholas King at the console at Chipperfield

At Chipperfield after evensong