Thursday, 7 February 2013

The City of London in Music at St Vedast Church Wednesday 6th February

On the day that the life of St Vedast is celebrated, a Bishop chiefly remembered for his patience, meekness and Charity, I was invited to the Church by Alderman and Sheriff Jeffrey Evans and Sheriff Nigel Pullman for a concert in aid of the Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund.  The S&R Fund was founded in 1808 to help prisoners and their families in Newgate to start a new life and today gives London’s ex-offenders the chance of a job, a stable family and home and a law-abiding life.  For those on probation it provides training and tools of trade, clothing and household equipment.
At St Vedast, now alias Foster Church as a derivative of its name and located close to Goldsmith’s Hall in Foster Lane, I learned about the Root and Branch Bill of 1641 that provided the popular expression in the Livery world meaning ‘the whole of it without exceptions or omissions’.  The Puritans who supported the bill to abolish the Episcopacy were known as ‘Root and Branch men’ or ‘Rooters’. Let’s be careful what we wish for when we use those words!
The evening was a deluge of delight with music, singing, poems, readings and anecdotes performed by a distinguished cast of performers – actress Josephine Tewson and actor William Gaunt – with accompaniment from the Church’s Director of Music and two wonderful singers, Martha Jones and Catherine Rogers.
I was particularly pleased that Court Assistant Peter Rees was acknowledged for his skill and patience in designing the programme for the evening.  The Sheriffs very much appreciated the assistance of Peter and our Company for this contribution.
Refreshments after the concert in the Church, hosted by the Rector, provided an opportunity to meet with the many Masters in attendance, including several I had dined with only the night before!  If you would like to support the S&R Fund at the Central Criminal Court , Old Bailey, please contact the office on 020 7248 3277.

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