11 MyChurch April 2016

All Saints, Poplar

SarahI am Sarah Best and I am going to play in All Saint’s, Poplar. Actually, my church is St Augustine’s, Kilburn, which has a fabulous organ, but is unfortunately much in need of attention. So I have decided to play in  All Saints Poplar, E14, 0EY  where I often deputise: this has an excellent organ, and a vicar and organist who have kindly let us do this.

All Saint’s was built in 1821 when the population in Poplar began to grow at the time the West India Dock was being dug out.

1. IMG_9036Originally there were galleries on three sides and a pulpit which could be cranked up for large congregations!

There was also a stained glass window behind the altar which was so criticised that apparently the artist committed suicide. It was eventually bricked up.

The church has undergone several alterations since then. In the 1920’s recession everything was simplified. The church was painted white and the adjustable pulpit removed.

The East end was damaged in the Blitz and subsequent restorations saw the galleries removed and a new organ and choir stalls put in at the West end. You can hear me saying more about the church and the organ by clicking this link or the photo of the church above.

The organ


The organ pipework came from a church in Clapham and was originally made by Hunter. The current organ was restored by Manders. The registration is given on the following link:


The piece I shall play is ‘Schmücke Dich O liebe Seele’ (Deck Thyself, My Soul, with Gladness) by Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933). This tune has been used by many composers and was originally a Bach cantata BWV 180 composed for the 20th Sunday after Trinity which falls in October and was used as a Eucharist hymn. I chose this as I thought it would show the colours of the organ.

You can hear this music by clicking the picture of the organ or clicking on the following link here,  on the picture of the organ

Sarah Best

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