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Equally engaging Flight into Egypt


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equally engaging Flight into Egypt: under a moonlit sky Joseph, wearing a bobble-hat, leads the donkey on which Mary and Jesus sit across a foreground strewn with wild flowers. The Pharoah’s daughter finds the baby Moses amongst the bulrushes and yellow irises – a scene inspired, one feels, by the view of Chiswick Eyot from the Mall. In a Nativity, Joseph keeps guard over Mary and Jesus, helped by an ox and, unexpectedly, a chicken, two blackbirds, two sheep, a mouse and a red squirrel. This slideshow was full of energetic movement, brightness and rejoicing.

2. On Wednesday 26 March 2014 Sally Jeffery gave a lecture on ‘William Kent: il Signior in Chiswick’ to coincide with the opening of the William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain exhibition at the V&A. This stimulating talk, given to an audience of between 100 and 120, opened with a succinct statement of William Kent’s qualities as a designer. He was an innovative and imaginative designer of interiors, furniture, book-illustration, and gardens, amongst many other fields of design work. He was an engaging personality who associated easily with wealthy and important patrons, such as Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, for whom he undertook much work at Chiswick and elsewhere. Sally’s talk concentrated on Kent’s early life and training, on the patronage of Lord Burlington, and on his design work at Chiswick.

3. David Jones talked about his year’s work as High Sheriff of Greater London, on Wednesday 11 June 2014. He regaled us with intriguing facts, anecdotes and telling images about his shrieval life, declaring that the High Sheriff has three main fields of activity: to recognise good works and exemplary actions; to bring people together, who might not otherwise talk to each other; and to champion causes – especially those of others. These are pursued with regard to the police, the courts, and the prisons. It was clear by the end of his talk that during his year as High Sheriff, David had developed special interests in the young people involved in the justice system, whether police cadets or young offenders. But also important to him is the role of the church and of voluntary organisations in supporting the criminal justice system and in helping to rehabilitate inmates on their release from prison.

4. On Saturday 21 June 2014, Malcolm Smith led a tour of the Chiswick graveyard, calling attention to the graves of celebrated and important Chiswick residents buried there. A group of some 25 enjoyed tea and cake in St Denys House afterwards; and we now hold a waiting list for a repeat tour next summer.


The Friends’ Management Committee

Chairman: Francis Ames-Lewis, 52 Prebend Gardens, London W6.0XU; tel.: (020) 8748 1259; email: f.ames-lewis@bbk.ac.uk

Minutes and Membership Secretary: Christabel Ames-Lewis; Treasurer: Malcolm Smith; Ex-officio Trustees: Fr Simon Brandes, Nicholas Lines, Suzette Rademacher; Committee: Adrian Biddell, Clive Cheesman, Mylene Curtis, Richard Ellis, Donald Maxwell, Susan Welsh

THE FRIENDS OF ST NICHOLAS CHURCH


Registered charity no. 291262

Newsletter 18 : July 2014

Editor: Francis Ames-Lewis


Dates for Autumn 2014 and Winter 2015: please note them NOW!
SATURDAY 25 OCTOBER 2014, at 7.30pm. An evening in St Nicholas Church to commemorate the 250th anniversary of William Hogarth’s death in 1764. This event is mounted in association with the William Hogarth Trust. Ars Eloquentiae, a group of young, energetic early music players based at St Anne’s, Kew, will perform music of Hogarth’s time, including arias and instrumental music by Handel, a harpsichord concerto by Thomas Arne, some numbers from The Beggar’s Opera, and some street ballads. The music will be interspersed with readings of extracts from writings by Hogarth, such as his autobiography and the Analysis of Beauty, and from writings of others with whom he was associated.

MONDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2014 at 5.45pm. A guided visit to the London Library, 14 St James’s Square, W1. Founded by Thomas Carlyle in 1841, the London Library is the world’s largest independent lending library and one of the most important literary institutions of the UK. We will be taken on a guided tour of some of the library’s major holdings and special collections. Due to the narrowness of the book-stacks, it is not possible for the group to number more than 15. If you would like to be included on this visit, you are advised to get in touch with Francis Ames-Lewis (020.8748.1259; f.ames-lewis@bbk.ac.uk) as soon as possible, to have your name promptly put down on the list. The cost of the visit is £20.00 per head.

WEDNESDAY 10 DECEMBER 2014, at 7.00pm in the church. The former vicar, Rev Patrick Tuft, will present an evening of Church of England poetry. This will include poetry both about the church as an institution and about churches and chapels and their furnishings, rather than poetry dealing with overtly spiritual matters. There will be readings of poems by such major figures as John Donne, Dean of St Paul’s and sometime Prebendary of Chiswick, George Herbert, and John Betjeman, interspersed with lighter material.
WEDNESDAY 28 JANUARY 2015, at 7.00pm in the church. Sir Alan Munro, whose career in the diplomatic service culminated in his appointment as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1993, will talk about his career with reference to his recently published book. Keep the Flag Flyjng: A Diplomatic Memoir (Susris Books, 2013) is intended to convey something of the flavour – and the frivolities – of escapades and encounters which Sir Alan and Lady Munro experienced in the course of thirty-five years in diplomacy in the Middle East, Africa and South America, and at home too.

FRIDAY 20 MARCH 2015, at 7.30pm in the church. Mark Wallace, who teaches music at Latymer School, Hammersmith, also runs a high-quality jazz trio (piano, trumpet and vocalist), who will provide an evening of musical entertainment. The programme will probably include numbers by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and other great jazz composers of that ilk.

Financial position, and recent and future projects
At the last meeting of the Friends’ Committee, on 19 June 2014, we heard that the total in the Friends’ accounts at 10 June was £59,657.43. This sum includes David Jones’s generous donation of £393.85, being a proportion of the collection taken at the High Sheriff of Greater London’s installation service on 21 May 2013. We are still committed to providing £30,000, in the first instance, of our holdings as ‘seed-corn’ funds to help to launch an appeal for the funds needed for the installation of kitchen and toilet facilities in the church. Discussion of this project continues, now revolving largely over the issue of the reconfiguration of the organ. Three different proposals have been received from organ builders, from which the PCC task group, assisted by their organ adviser Ian Bell, will select one, on the basis of layout, space taken up, cost and musical acceptability, to recommend to the PCC. It is hoped that the architect and builder will have plans ready to put to the DAC before the end of the year – plans that will include both the reconstruction of the organ and the provision of kitchen and toilet facilities, office and storage space. The Committee recognise that we may be asked for further funds towards these ongoing projects at some later stage.

Meanwhile, the Friends recently paid £3,150 for the costs of the equipment and its installation of a CCTV system within the church, a project that has now been completed. It has the great advantage that the church will now be kept open for longer and more regularly during weekdays. Moreover, it will be useful in recording accidents as well as incidents; a visitor fell in church recently and this was recorded on the new CCTV system. Fleet Tutors have offered to renew their Silver Sponsorship of the Friends and of events in 2015, and for this we are most grateful. But as ever, we continue to hope that further benefactors may be found who will sponsor an event or events during 2014; and if any Friends reading this Newsletter would be interested in sponsoring an event, or know of a business that might, we would be very pleased to hear from you.


Friends’ events, Spring – Summer 2014

1. A talk on ‘Anthea Craigmyle’s Religious Paintings and their Stories’, was given by Anthea Craigmyle in the church on Wednesday 19 February 2014, to the delight of some 85 Friends and guests in the audience. Anthea took us through the Old and New Testaments, using as her guide a series of about seventy religious paintings, almost all in oils, that she has made over the past 20 or 25 years. These paintings are full of vitality, humour and bold colour. Anthea’s commentary matched these qualities in its self-deprecatory wit, and in her downbeat noting of all the homely, and sometimes slightly eccentric, or even bizarre, details she includes to add imaginative incident that fills out the bible stories. She started, of course, at the beginning: Eve in the Garden of Eden, the first of three based on Romanesque sculptures in the Cathedral of Autun, Burgundy. The second is the delightful Dream of the Magi, in which the three kings cuddle up together under a single bright green duvet, and the third is the equally engaging Flight into Egypt: under a moonlit sky Joseph, armed unusually with a sword and wearing a bobble-hat, leads the donkey on which Mary and Jesus sit across a foreground strewn with wild flowers.


2. On Wednesday 26 March 2014 Sally Jeffery gave a lecture on ‘William Kent: il Signior in Chisiwck’ to coincide with the opening of the William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. This engaging and stimulating talk, given before a considerable audience of between 100 and 120, opened with a succinct statement of William Kent’s qualities as a designer. He was an innovative, inventive and imaginative designer of interiors, furniture, book-illustration, and gardens, amongst many other fields of design work. He was an engaging personality who had an easy facility for associating with wealthy and important patrons, such as Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, of Holkham Hall, and Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, for whom he undertook considerable amounts of work at Chiswick and elsewhere. Sally’s talk concentrated on Kent’s early life and training, on the patronage of Lord Burlington, and on the design work that Kent undertook for Burlington in Chiswick.

The Friends’ Management Committee

Chairman, and Editor of the Newsletter: Francis Ames-Lewis, 52 Prebend Gardens, London W6.0XU; tel.: (020) 8748 1259; email: f.ames-lewis@bbk.ac.uk



Minutes and Membership Secretary: Christabel Ames-Lewis; Treasurer: Malcolm Smith; Ex-officio Trustees: Fr Simon Brandes, Nicholas Lines, Malcolm Smith; Committee: Adrian Biddell, Clive Cheesman, Mylene Curtis, Richard Ellis, Donald Maxwell


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