News/Events

Dear fellow parishioner,

You will probably have heard by now that our vicar David has decided to retire on 1st May. David is currently convalescing at a Church of England retreat centre in Yorkshire. When he has regained his strength fully and is able to join us, we will organise a fitting celebration of his wonderful ministry amongst us over the past 15 years.

 In the meanwhile, your PCC is charged with the duty of preparing a Parish Profile, which will act as the prospectus for priests who will consider applying to be our next incumbent. It is important that this profile is an honest appraisal of our parish so that there can be a correct alignment between the aspirations of the new person and us. To that end we would find it helpful to hear from as many of you as possible about the 2 or 3 most important characteristics you would like to see in our new Vicar, ranked in order of importance to you.  So please consider the matter prayerfully and then send a short email answer to churchwardens@chelseaoldchurch.org.uk.

 We will build your answers into the parish profile document which will be presented in draft to a special meeting of the PCC on 17th May.  If adopted the document will then form the basis on which the post will be advertised.

Yours faithfully, Christopher Rees   Bede Northcote        Churchwardens 

It will not be necessary to apply for a ticket for services over the coming months as we feel confident that we can cope with the expected numbers without the need to know precise attendance intentions from parishioners in advance. We will continue to limit attendance at individual services to 65. As usual, the 8 am  and Evensong services will be less heavily attended, so if you prefer to attend when there are fewer numbers present then those are the services you should target. Services will not be streamed for the time being, but we are looking into the installation of 2 fixed cameras in the gallery which will allow streaming to be carried out much more readily than has previously been the case. If anyone is particularly keen for this service to be resumed and would be prepared to contribute to the costs of this work then please contact the Parish Office.

For the following Sundays we will have our usual range of four services. The program is as follows:

                                  Day of Pentecost (23rd May)
Readings: Acts 2: 1-21     John 15: 26-27 and 16: 4b-15 
8 am:         Holy Communion, Revd Prebendary Dr Brian Leathard
10 am:       Family Service, Reverend Nick Morris and Naomi Leveson-Gower.     Story Number 

11.15 am:   Mattins, John Watherston


6 pm:        Choral Evensong,  John Watherston. We are delighted to be resuming choral evensong after a long break – all welcome. 
So how many musical concerts have you been to in the last year? Exactly.

Well you have a chance to attend one next Sunday evening at 6pm in this church when an augmented choir will accompany Andrew Macmillan on our world-famous organ for Evensong to celebrate Pentecost.  The doors will be open to ensure everyone's safety, but inside there will be tongues of fire and heavenly harmonies. Put it in your diary now. It will help you to celebrate another step on our road back to normality and also remind you that the Day of Pentecost will have fully come.

The church will continue to be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 2 pm for private prayer.


21st March Mattins led by The Right Rev’d Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington here 
Previous service videos here 

The office can still  be contacted on  office@chelseaoldchurch.org.uk or 020 7795 1019

The Church will not be open on Sunday afternoons (1.30-5.30pm) 

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There are a range of Christian resources available and the link below lists digital streaming, tv and radio programmes, blogs and other resources.

https://www.london.anglican.org/articles/accessing-christian-services-and-resources-digitally-for-those-who-cant-get-to-church/

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online

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The Church Monuments: said to have the most impressive array of monuments outside Westminster Abbey, see here and more of them here

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William Drake Limited have completed installation of the new organ.

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Recently donated to the Church, a book of 25 sermons, starting in 1954, preached in Chelsea Old Church in honour of Thomas More, on the anniversary of his birth. Preachers ranged from the Archbishop of Canterbury, through Professors of Theology and Ecclesiastical History to Bishops and Deans. 

Church Garden

The Church gardens and gardeners won these competitions
1st Chelsea Gardens Guild Churches Summer Competition
1st Kensington Gardeners Club Churches
1st Brighter Kensington and Chelsea Scheme
Bronze medal in class 10, the London Garden Society

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Received recently from the Prior Studios photos of a couple of drawings by William Orpen, one of them below.

Major Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen, KBE, RA, RHA (27 November 1878 – 29 September 1931) was an Irish artist who worked mainly in London. Orpen was a fine draughtsman and a popular, commercially successful, painter of portraits for the well-to-do in Edwardian society.

During the First World War, he was the most prolific of the official artists sent by Britain to the Western Front. (Source: Wikipedia)
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Rediscovered Stained Glass Window
Received an article dated 1922, shown below, when a medieval stained glass window was discovered when cement and building rubble was removed that covered a window between the Vestry and Lawrence Chapel. Francis Eeles, renowned stained glass expert, identified the window as made between 1320-1340, the oldest window in London apart from Westminster Abbey. The window was sent to the V&A Museum with a plan to eventually restore it to Chelsea Old Church.

If the window returned from V&A before WWII, when the Church was bombed, it may have been destroyed, however enquiries were made to V&A to see whether they have records of the window's fate, yes, they returned it in 1922.


So probably destroyed in 1941.

But research at British and Kensington Library and stained glass experts revealed that the Chelsea Society had paid for transferring the window to the crypt at St Lukes' in 1939 for safekeeping. An original search at Chelsea Old Church had not found the window but a more 'in depth' study had found the window sandwiched inside a broken 19th C window in the Tower clock room. The window was now in 4 main parts, pictured below, plus many smaller pieces of glass.





The top two were Maurice Drake restorations, the third the 1320 medieval window which is still curved having been folded within another longer window. The fourth the remains of the wording added in 1922.
The inscription at the bottom says:
To the glory of God and in memory of the unknown saints who for centuries have worshipped Him in this place. This window was uncovered on St Bartholomew day 1922 was recreated 1923.
The 14th century glass of this window was originally in the western light of the eastern most window in the north wall of the Lawrence Chapel that was blocked up with the Colvile monument around 1632 but monument later moved and window covered but then discovered behind layers of plaster in August 1922.
All of the window is now at Canterbury Cathedral stained glass studio for conservation advice and awaits the raising of funds to complete the project by displaying it in it's original window in the Lawrence Chapel.
Acts 2: 1-21
Pentecost    Titian
Spring in the churchyard
                

Anchor Magazine

Winter edition out hereSpring & Summer, see here to view.


Daily Hope

The Church of England has launched a free dial-in worship service to bring prayer to people’s homes while churches are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Daily Hope, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. The national line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the service has been primarily set up to support Britons, especially the elderly, who are unable to join online church services.


A New Church Organ at Chelsea Old Church
The organ plays a crucial part in the life of the church, used every Sunday and frequently during the week for funerals, memorials, baptisms and weddings. 

The organ removed in January 2019 was built in 1957, replaced the instrument lost when the church was bombed. Like the church itself, the organs of Chelsea Old Church have a long and interesting history. Most notable amongst these was an organ by the famous builder of the day, Renatus Harris, which is believed to have stood in the church from 1712-1723. The early removal of this instrument (for unknown reasons) prevented its eventual destruction had it remained up until 1941, and parts of it are believed still to be in existence in a church in Devon.

We are delighted that William Drake Limited have completed installation of the new organ, compressed into a 1min 23 sec stop frame video here
It was heard for the first time at Mattins on Sunday 22nd. September 2019.

To see the Dedication and Celebration of The New Pipe Organ programme click here, which took place on 21st November.

The new organ is a fine new instrument that will not only serve the needs of the parish, but also play a part in the wider musical life of Chelsea.

https://sites.google.com/site/chelseaoldchurch2/organ

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The Clock at Chelsea Old Church


The Edmund Howard clock, 1761, formerly at Chelsea Old Church, but where is it now? The present clock, made by Dents, who built Big Ben, was installed in 1950's.
It was assumed the 1761 clock was destroyed during the 1941 raid, but a horologist has found a film of the clock alive and well at Dent's workshops and can be seen from 1 minute 59 seconds to 2 minutes 10 seconds in the Pathe film here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpoVTvvAT6U
which was filmed at Dents in 1959. So the search is on for the Howard clock.

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Dacre Monument
Conservation and restoration work started on 28th January by conservators Granville and Burbidge and was completed 7th March 2014. The work was funded by the Dacre family in memory of the 27th Baroness Dacre.


Remains of Dacre Monument beside More Chapel after Blitz, 1941

Obelisk before during and after

mouldings before and after

Skull, wings and hourglass before and after 



The dog at the feet of Lady Dacre removed to measure up for a new right front leg and reattach the left leg.

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Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, attended a friend's wedding at the weekend, having just returned home after their whirlwind stay in New York. The royal couple were guests at the ceremony, which took place at Chelsea Old Church near the River Thames. 

The occasion may well have been a trip down memory lane for the Duchess, as the church is situated on the very same road as the Middleton's London home, where Kate shared a flat with Pippa in the years she lived in the capital after graduating from St Andrews.
Kate, who is currently five months pregnant with her and William's second child, looked elegant in a floor-length black lace gown with full-length lace sleeves, most likely the same one by designer Diane Von Furstenberg that she opted to wear  to the star-studded Royal Variety Performance last month. 

For the wedding, the Duchess accessorised with a small sparkling black clutch and black heels, wrapping up against the chill with a red tartan scarf that was draped over her shoulders. She wore her brunette locks loose over her shoulders.
Courtesy Hello Magazine
























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