For several years now, St
Mary's Church has played host to 'The Last Night of the
This event features
the building strung with flags and patriotic banners, and
inhabited by an audience
likewise equipped with flags (mostly British, but this year
there was a large Scottish flag!)
and bringing with them
trumpets, squeakers and other means of making noise as seen
(and heard) annually
at the Royal Albert Hall a week or so earlier.
The musical format
invariably features Fr Neil on the church organ, and one or
two vocal performers.
This year we welcomed
back soprano Sarah Helsby Hughes, and welcomed, for the first
(but certainly, we
hope, not the last) time, Welsh tenor Huw Rhys-Evans.
After a first hour of
stirring organ pieces and splendid solos and duets from the
world of opera and musicals,
we sang, as ever,
'Jerusalem', then enjoyed a glass of complimentary 'bubbly' in
the adjacent Church Hall.
The second half
featured more solos (increasingly light-hearted and romantic
in the main),
then ended with the
traditional singing of 'Rule Britannia' and 'Land of Hope and
more than a little
hearty singing, waving, tooting and general patriotic fervour.
The pictures tell the
story, including recording the presence of three guests from
officials of the
Waterloo Partnership, which our two churches actively support.
a look at last year's junketings!
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