Foreword 2016

Canon Derek Carpenter writes

A year or so ago, I had the enormous privilege of being invited to become Honorary Life President of the Arts at St George’s. For twelve years, from 1990 until my retirement in 2002, Beckenham Parish Church provided the setting in which my ordained ministry was supported, sustained and encouraged by a vibrant congregation and a warm and welcoming community.

The music, activities and arts for which St George’s is renowned found its focus in the establishment in 1992 of ‘The Arts Festival’, known now as ‘The Arts at St George’s’ – and these take place in a building of soaring space and coloured glass which is both traditional and contemporary, as are the music, the arts and the worship which it offers.

All this is year-round, but the Arts come to the fore in St George’s Festival for Beckenham which is again taking place in June this year. This is my invitation to share in all that is on offer.

Many will recall some of the international performers in drama and music who have graced the stage at St George’s, but the church has also been prominent in show-casing superb local talent, whether as individual recitalists or in groups such as the Bromley Youth Concert Band and Chamber Orchestra. Alongside that have been inspiring preachers at the Festival Eucharists, for around the music and the arts the liturgical life of St George’s continues to weave, week by week, the drama of the Eucharist and the deep spirituality of evening worship.

Classical, folk, rock and jazz, sonata and symphony – all combine to make their unique offerings in this place where folk come to worship ‘in the beauty of holiness’; and others offer their skills and abilities in the Arts and Crafts Weekend, and in the Flower Weeks at Easter, Harvest and Christmas as the church marks the changing patterns of the year.

There is so much on offer, and so much energy and talent on display for which I invite your support and participation.

What a feast and a festival we have in store – we very much look forward to welcoming you to all that is taking place this year.

Canon Derek Carpenter