Southwark and South London Society of Organists Newsletter July 2nd, 2022

From the Chair of the Society, John Webber:

Welcome to the July newsletter!


We welcome Brian Parsons, who plays at the Church of The Ascension, Lavender Hill, in SW London. Congratulations to him for recently acquiring the CRCO! Brian was at the recent meeting in Wimbledon.

Recent Events

Wimbledon – well done to Peter Smith for planning a very successful day on June 11th in SW19! A dozen of us visited the Sacred Heart Church at Edge Hill and St. John the Baptist, Spencer Hill, with a fine lunch at the Crooked Billet, on the edge of the Common. It was good to be joined by Stephanie Gaunt from the Surrey Association, who had read about our proposed outing for the day in the IAO magazine.

At Sacred Heart, David Gammie demonstrated the large three manual Walker organ by playing music by Jongen, Whitlock and a part of Vierne III. The organ was restored in 2011, which must have been roughly when the Society made its previous visit there.

Robert Mingay-Smith played the Norman and Beard organ at St. John’s for us; the instrument was restored in 1984.

Penge Festival

Penge Festival – although this was fixed after the year’s activities were announced, Alan Langridge involved about a dozen SSLSO members in playing at Penge Congregational Church on June 14th and 25th, when the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Penge Festival took place. This was a great achievement and Alan very successfully put the two programmes together. There were works by Buxtehude, Bach, Mendelssohn, Tomkins, Norman Harper, Karg-Elert (edited and arranged by Mike Cooke), Florence Price, Franz Schmidt, Jean-Jacques Charpentier and many more.

London Organ Day – this was on June 18th. at St. Peter’s, Vauxhall Highlights included a film screening (Fugue State Films), Jean Martyn on the Hammond Organ, Tom Daggett on his renowned work with choirs and the closing recital by John Kitchen on the Lewis organ.

Forthcoming Events

Sunday, August 7th. – 2.30 to 4.30p.m. social (informal party) at the crypt of St. Giles’s Church, 81 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8RB. There will be a staffed bar. Please contact Martin Callingham if you wish to come using our contact form.

Saturday, September 10th. – 3.00 to 6.00p.m. workshop with Peter Wright (Director of Music at Southwark Cathedral 1989-2020) at St. John’s Church, Upper Norwood, 1 Sylvan Road, SE19 2RX. This will be mainly on the music of Flor Peeters. We have five members wishing to take part, which is about right. If you want to be on the reserve list, please let me know. We welcome observers.

Saturday, October 15th. – 6.30 for 7.00p.m. annual dinner at The Prince Regent, 69 Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0NJ. Our guest speaker will be Revd Dr Canon Gordon Giles of Rochester Cathedral, a practising musician who writes for the RSCM quarterly magazine. The menu will be available in September and bookings can be made then. This was a popular venue with us in 2020 and we met upstairs, which is a spacious area.

Saturday, November 19th. – Streatham afternoon – 2.30p.m. Christ Church, 3 Christchurch Road (the South Circular Road), SW2 3ET and 4.30p.m. St. Peter’s, Leigham Court Road, SW16 2SD.


Please see this link, giving details of Marilyn Harper’s recital later this month at St. John’s, Sidcup. All welcome. Marilyn will play for our friends on the Bexley Association a typically imaginative selection of music, by a mix of well- and lesser-known composers, definitely including female writers, as many of us are doing as the months go by!

Don’t forget that Richard Pilliner sends SSLSO members a list of forthcoming recitals from time to time. If you are either giving a recital or are aware of one in your area and can give us information, Richard will publicise all the events that he can. Contact him using our contact form.

The next newsletter will go out on Monday, August 2nd. If you want to respond to today’s letter or would like me to include something on the next one, you are welcome to do so.

Do note the dates above and get on to Martin about the August social.

Best wishes,