Join our Worship

The primary mission of St Giles in-the-Fields is Christian hospitality.  In this spirit we welcome people from across London and the world throughout the week for prayer, reflection and worship.

Visitors and newcomers are always especially warmly welcomed at St Giles.  If you have any questions about our worship, please do feel free to contact us or speak to a member of the clergy or a churchwarden.

Printed leaflets are available for all services in order to help you follow the liturgy and readings  easily.  Braille materials are also available for anyone who is blind or partially-sighted and a loop hearing system is installed in the church.

If you are able to join for Sung Eucharist on Sundays, then please do stay after the service for coffee and a chance to meet other members of the congregation.

St Giles Altar Sept 2015

Our weekly pattern of worship

We offer worship which is reverent, traditional, dignified and uplifting, all within the ethos of the Anglican tradition and drawn from the Book of Common Prayer and the Authorised Version of the Bible.  Our worship draws on the richness of the Christian tradition of language and music to identify ourselves with the past generation of worshippers, to pray for the world and our local community and to look to the future with hope.

 Sundays

IMG_0031Our main Sunday morning service is Sung Eucharist at 11am.  This is an act of worship to uplift us into remembering the presence of God.  It includes hymns and music for the congregation to join with, as well as music from the great treasury of English Church music, led by the St Giles Quartet.  The service lasts about an hour.

Sunday evening worship is Choral Evensong at 6.30pm. Members of the St Giles Choir lead our singing and provide an anthem. Our evening services encourage us to reflect on God’s generous love for humankind as found in the Bible, the Christian tradition, and as expressed in English Church music.

You can find more details about Music at St Giles here.

Mid-Week

St Giles is very much more than a Sunday church.

Morning Prayer at 8.15am and Evening Prayer at 5.30pm are said from Monday to Friday and a said service of Holy Communion takes place every Wednesday at 1pm and on major Saints Days and other Church festivals which fall mid-week.

Morning and Evening Prayer are short, meditative services consisting of readings from the Psalms, the Old and New Testaments, and prayers appropriate to the time of day, lasting about 20 minutes, followed by five minutes silence for personal prayer.  At Evening Prayer we also make intercessions for the people who have asked for our prayers in the intercession book that day and week.

Our Mission of Hospitality

Alan Collation 13At the heart of our faith is a person whose life and teaching is recorded in the New Testament – Jesus of Nazareth. He is the human face of God who revealed a mystery at the centre of all life and has restored us to relationship with God through the cross and resurrection.

Our Christian faith is open to all those who seek after truth and we positively value the journey of faith within other traditions. At St Giles being loved by God comes before where we stand in society.

CofE logoWe welcome all those wishing to find God in their lives and offer solidarity in faith, rooted in an ancient and lively tradition. Our congregations are diverse – in age, background, origins, and relationships.

Our parish boundary takes in much of the West End including the areas of Seven Dials, St Giles, part of Bloomsbury and part of Fitzrovia. The people of our parish matter to us and the lives of those who live, work or pass through the parish are at the centre of our prayers.

Being Anglican means that we are part of the parish system of the Church of England. (known as the Episcopal Church in some countries.) St Giles is within the Deanery of Westminster: St. Margaret’s in the Diocese is London, our Bishop is Richard Chartres and our Cathedral is St Paul’s.

We work together with all other Anglican parish churches and congregations of other traditions in the West End, particularly our neighbours at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church and the Swiss Reformed Church.

Visit & Contact Us

To contact individual clergy directly see the ‘Who’s Who‘ page.

Telephone us on 0207 240 2532

Or you can write to the Church at this address:

The Parish Office, St Giles-in-the-Fields Church, 60 St Giles High Street. London, WC2H 8LG

St Giles is at the heart of the west end  between Covent Garden, Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia.  You can use Transport for London’s Journey Planner to find the easiest route to St Giles.

Underground: We are a short walk from Tottenham Court Road tube station on the Central and Northern lines.  Holborn and Covent Garden stations (Piccadilly line) are less than 10 minutes walk away, as is Oxford Circus (Victoria, Bakerloo and Central lines).

Bus: The 1, 8, 19, 24, 38, 29, 55, 134, 176, 242 and 390 buses stop near the church.

Rail: The church can also easily be reached from London mainline train stations – we are two stops on the underground from Euston and King’s Cross-St Pancras and three stops from Charing Cross.

Disabled access: There is level wheelchair access to the church and a disabled toilet.  The loop system is installed for people who are hard of hearing and braille materials are available for those joining worship.  If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact us on the form below or speak to one of the sidesmen or churchwardens during a service.

Opening hours: The Church is normally open for prayer and quiet from Monday to Friday from 8.15am (when Morning Prayer begins) to 6pm (when Evening Prayer ends). Musical rehearsal may be taking place. The Church is closed on Saturdays and Public Holidays. Occasionally it is necessary to close the Church before 6pm or for short periods during the day when no one is on the premises and sometimes due to other clergy commitments it is not possible to conduct Evening Prayer, but these occasions are few.

You can send us an email using the box below.  If your request is regarding a booking, please provide a telephone number so that we can call you back:

Who’s Who?

St Giles-in-the-Fields is served by a full time Rector, the Rev’d Alan Carr who is available at the church most week days and on Sundays.  Alan is supported by our parish administrator, Debbie Westerby, and a small team of part-time staff.  The church administration is overseen by the parochial church council (PCC) and the churchwardens, who are elected annually. We are always pleased to hear from you, please do get in touch with any questions.

Rector: The Rev’d Alan Carr

0784 800 8069  Email the Rector: alancarr17@gmail.com

Rev Alan CarrAlan has been rector at St Giles-in-the-Fields since July 2015.  Prior to his appointment, he had served as associate rector since September 2010.  He served his curacy in a suburban seaside parish near Littlehampton, and was then, for 18 years, vicar of two semi-rural parishes in Sussex serving about 2000 people. He brings a wide experience of the pastoral, teaching and preaching elements of parish ministry.  Before ordination Alan spent 8 years in Anglican religious life and learned the value of community for encouraging spiritual formation. He also seeks to develop schemes and projects to engage as fully as possible with the wider community of the West End.  He lives in Bloomsbury with his wife Suzanne.

Organist & Director of Music: Jonathan Bunney

Email the Director of Music: jcbunney@hotmail.com

Jonathan Bunney

Jonathan has been Director of Music at St. Giles-in-the-Fields since 2004. During his time at St Giles, Jonathan has developed and directed our successful Voluntary Choir of up to 30 members and established a series of lunchtime organ recitals on the newly refurbished William Drake organ. He is also a teacher at the RCO Academy Organ School.  In 2015 Jonathan was awarded his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists.  Cathedral recitals have included Winchester, Chichester, Coventry, Sheffield and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Jonathan began his musical education at the age of 12 at St Mary’s Church, Hayling Island, followed by three years as Hampshire County Council Organ Scholar at St Mary’s Church, Portsea, where he developed his church musicianship under the guidance of Nigel Stark. During this time he was also a student at the St Giles International Organ School, based at the historic church of St Giles, Cripplegate, where he was taught by Anne Marsden-Thomas. In 2000 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music with Margaret Phillips. Prizes awarded included the Kenneth Bruce Stuart Prize and Harold Darke Memorial Prize for Organ. Jonathan also participated in Masterclasses with Thomas Trotter and Dame Gillian Weir. In 2004 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree and achieved his ARCO. In the same year he was the Royal Hospital Church Music Scholar at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, and in 2010 was awarded a Masters in Advanced Performance, with distinction and the Walford Davies Prize.

Churchwardens: Thomas Hardin and Wil James

Churchwardens are elected annually at the end of April for the year following.   Churchwardens represent the regular members of the Church (the laity), and co-operate with clergy over all aspects of the mission and ministry of the Church.  They can always be contacted through the church office.  For the 2015 – 2016 period Thomas (by profession an architect) was re-elected for his 6th year and Wil (working in consultancy) was elected for his 4th year.

The future of the clergy

In this month’s Pelican, Rector Alan reports back on a recent Diocese of London conference on ordained ministry:

I attended a Diocesan conference in the first part of October on vocations to ordained ministry (‘London Calling’) about what we can do to increase their numbers. The Archbishop of Canterbury and various London Bishops and others sought to encourage us clerics present but, to provide some context, I thought I would get some of the awkward and scary numbers out of the way, courtesy of a recent report from the Director of Ministry for the Archbishops’ Council.

  • A quarter of stipendiary clergy are in their sixties or above, and, as they retire, so dioceses will ‘feel the pinch,’ as there are not enough new ordinands coming through yet.
  • While the number of stipendiary ordinations showed a welcome increase between 2012 and 2015, this will not be sufficient to redress the gathering effect of clergy retirements predicted over the years 2015 to 2015.
  • The average ages of stipendiary clergy are gradually rising, as the broader UK population ages. In 2012, more clergy were 55 than any other specific age, but by 2015 the commonest age was 58.
  • Only 13 per cent of parish priests are aged under 40, although this varies widely by diocese: in some areas, only four per cent of parochial clergy are under 40. One unnamed diocese reports that 41 per cent of its stipendiary parish clergy are over 60.
  • The proportion of stipendiary clergy from a black or minority-ethnic background rose slightly from 3 per cent in 2012 to 3.4 per cent in 2015, though among senior ministers, this figure fell to 2.2 per cent. Even so, these figures are far too low.
  • The trend for non-stipendiary posts has been in decline: 183 were ordained in 2005, down from 233 three years earlier.

Writing as one of those about to fall off the clerical cliff in the not too distant future (not yet . . . don’t worry, I will warn you) I began to feel apologetic, as though I should be able to do something about my age, but this is absurd I know. (You need not also be too worried, by the way, about finding priests to serve in the heart of London: the flesh pots of the capital have always had a great draw compared to the wilds of, say, Lincolnshire or Carlisle).

The-Ordinands-gather-in-front-of-the-Bishop

The former Bishop of London ordains deacons at St Paul’s Cathedral, 2015

Organisations like the Church of England are often twitchy about numbers. They never look good when they fall into the hands of the tabloids and consequently breed discouragement and despair among the worker bees. We have long prided ourselves on being ‘a church in every community and a community in every church’ (in fact I just made up the second bit of that, but it sounds right, don’t you think?) so any threat to the settled and historic status quo is, to say the least, unnerving. What will become to us? When the last Vicar leaves the last parish will she please turn out the light?

Fear not, for this will not happen and it is probably wrong of me to jest. The numbers of ordinands (prospective priests on a training course) has been increasing in recent years and this is a trend that is set to continue, certainly in our own Diocese; and of those being called to ordained ministry right now, I meet with many (in my capacity as a director of ordinands) who will make excellent priests and vicars, being faithful, energetic, visionary and missionary, the kind of people that any parish will be fortunate to have in the years to come. But even so, (numbers do not lie, so they say) there will still be shortages up and down the country, and smaller parishes will have to amalgamate with their neighbours, and the nature of public ministry, its strains and stresses, and the way in which it allows a priest to get to know the people of a place, will gradually and inevitably change. Those priests of the future will have their work cut out and will need to be imaginative and resourceful, and we can but pray that God will be with them and lead them.

The speakers at the conference were united in offering the assembled clergy whatever signs of hope and light they could glean from the dark thunder clouds of statistics, and extolled us to stand in our pulpits and look you, the people, in the eye and ask, ‘Is God calling you?’ Role models, they told us, are critical and transformative, particularly when it comes to increasing vocations from the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, as we desperately need to do.  Realism can sometimes crush, and sometimes breed, fresh hope and this appears to be a ‘breeding’ season, for the current crisis in moral and spiritual commitment does seem to have engendered a period of renewed and authentic hope. I like to tell prospective candidates that if their calling is true and becomes fruitful, then it will bring them a unique measure of fulfilment and reward. It will, of course, also wear them out a bit but, surely, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained,’ holds as true in the kingdom of God as it does in the republic of mammon.

Christmas Concerts & Live Events

The church is often used by outside groups for classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre productions, art events and talks.

External events are all arranged and advertised independently by the group hiring the Church, and ticketing information can usually be found on the internet.

We aim to include all external events on our Calendar whenever possible, but we do not manage tickets.

Christmas Carol Services and ConcertsChristmas Events Poster

Our concerts this year are supporting a wide range of charities including, The UCH Cancer Fund, The Royal School for Blind Children, The Leprosy Mission, The Haven + London, Blue Badge Guides Benevolent Society, National Churches Trust, African Promise, The Actors Benevolent Fund, The Big Sing Soul and Shelter from the Storm.  Please do come and support these wonderful charities.  See posters below.

The Haven Blue Badge Guideafrican promiseCopy of CHristmas Concert (3).jpgActors RechoiredThe Big SingChristmas Carry-on

 Forthcoming Events

Reviews of recent events at St Giles

“the church at the other end of guitar-store heaven Denmark Street – St Giles-in-the-Fields – known as the Poets’ Church, it’s an ethereal and shadowy building that has hosted performances by Bon Iver and Julianna Barwick as well as poetry readings by Patti Smith (who named it one of her favourite churches in England).” – Time Out
“the wonderfully suitable little spot of intimate calm that is St. Giles-in-the-Fields Church.” – thelineofbestfit.com
“Perhaps it’s the venue, a working Christian church, that brings out these qualities” – guardian.co.uk

For information on hiring the church for your concert please see the Hiring page. The photographs below are from the 2013 St Giles Festival.

Baptisms, Marriages & Funerals

Wedding.Dec 2012.3

A new birth in the family?  An anniversary to be remembered? Joy over two people’s commitment in love?  Coping with loss and finality?

For centuries people have gone to their local church, or revisited churches that have been important to them in the past, in order to mark and give thanks for new life, to celebrate love and achievements, and to mourn the passing of loved ones.

At St Giles we welcome enquiries from local families, community groups and organisations, or from friends and members of our congregation near and far, to make use of the pastoral offices of the Church.  In this way what is most personal and communal to us can be held up to God, and comfort and strength can be found.

We hope these notes will guide you through the initial stages of any enquiry you wish to make, but please call us directly if they are not clear or if you are ready to take them further.

Baptism

Baptism – the moment when a person commits themselves to the way of Christ and is spiritually renewed – is recorded in the four biblical gospels and quickly entered the very earliest traditions of the Church. The custom that emerged within the Church of England, and that continues today, is for infants and young children to be presented by their parents for baptism, accompanied by (usually) three chosen godparents. In this case the adults involved make the commitment of faith on behalf of their child and, speak, as it were, for them.

Font, 2But baptism is certainly not confined to the young, and adults have also been baptised at St Giles in recent years.  We welcome all enquirers, whatever their age or whether they live within the parish or not. Sometimes baptism takes place during the main 11am Sunday service, but other times can also be found if thought appropriate.

A modern language form of the service can be found on the Church of England website. The order of service we use at St Giles is modelled on this but uses more traditional language. We would always expect to meet with, and prepare, candidates and their families.

To make arrangements for a baptism please speak to one of the clergy, call 0207 240 2532, or use the email form below.

Marriage

The ceremonies of marriage probably need little introduction as they are commonly portrayed in film and on television, and most people at some time or another will attend the marriage service of a friend or family member.  Seeking a wedding service for yourself, however, is different and will require a good deal of planning and preparation. We would be happy to work with you and all those involved should you wish to come to St Giles.

Wedding.Dec 2012.2Unlike baptism a wedding service has a legal dimension because the registers of marriage are signed during the service.  In this case the priest acts on behalf of the local authority registrar.  This means that one or both of an intending couple will need to eligible to marry in our church. The quickest way of checking this is to visit the Your Church Wedding website, where you will find the full list of criteria of eligibility. We recommend that you make contact with us at this early stage to ensure that the legal requirements are met and that the date you have in mind is available.

Once this has been done one of our priests and our verger will work with you over one or two sessions to prepare the arrangements with you, work out the running order and content of service and also to share their understanding of marriage within the Christian tradition. We can provide an experienced organist to play for your service, up to four professional singers if you wish to augment the singing, and the services of our verger on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly.

There are set fees for weddings in the Church of England.  Again you can find out what these are in advance by visiting the Church of England website.  In addition there will be fees for musicians and for the verger, though these are fairly standard across all our London churches.

We look forward to hearing from anyone who may wish to explore the possibility of celebrating their wedding at St Giles.

To arrange a time to discuss your wedding plans call 0207 240 2532, or use the email form below.

Funerals and Memorial Services

candles 2The memorials of those from the parish of St Giles who have gone before us fill the walls of our Church and the boundaries of our churchyard. Inevitably the need to mark the ending of life with dignity and respect, and to commend our loved ones to God, will arise and we are more than happy to receive requests for such pastoral services and to work with you.

Funeral services can be held at St Giles in the weeks following someone’s death. These serve to bring close family, friends and colleagues together at a time of poignant loss and farewell, and are then followed by committal at a crematorium or burial ground, as arranged by the chosen funeral director. In addition, memorial services can also be arranged at some later stage, (where a funeral has taken place elsewhere previously), when, perhaps, a wider circle of friends and acquaintances can be drawn together from further afield. These can be particularly appropriate for someone who has been active in public life, whether within the central London community or in some professional capacity.

In either case we can offer families and colleagues experienced personnel to guide you through the arrangements for such pastoral offices, and also to provide counsel and support. As with weddings, we can provide whatever musical resources you may require for such an event. You have only to get in touch and ask us. Some families choose to do this through a funeral director in the first instance, which is fine, though we would always ask you to make contact with us as soon as you can, once you are clear you would like to come to St Giles. That way we can place you on our church calendar, though in general we will always rearrange regular events to give priority for such a service.

In addition to the services of our experience Director of Music and organist, the professional singers of the St Giles Quartet can also be provided, on request, to lead singing at funerals.

If you would like us to conduct a funeral or memorial service for a loved one at St Giles please call 0207 240 2532, or use the email form below.

Contact us

Please enter the details of your inquiry below.  We would be grateful if you could provide an telephone number so that we can call you back.

Hiring

© Andrew Liu 2012

St Giles is one of the most centrally located churches in London.  The church is situated a stone’s throw away from Centre Point and Tottenham Court Road Underground Station, between Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue.

The Church and adjacent Vestry House are often used for concerts, recitals and group meetings and we welcome and encourage enquiries from orchestras, recitalists, contemporary music groups, local community and self-help groups.  Many choral, orchestral and contemporary music groups have found the Church acoustics excellent and its distinctive West End setting perfect for drawing an audience.

The Church is available as a performance and gathering space for musical, theatrical and other events and is ideal for 20 to 200 or more people

The Large Vestry Room can seat up to about 30 for formal and informal meetings. For larger musical evenings the Large Vestry Room can also be hired at the same time as a ‘green room.’

To hire the Church or Vestry Room for your event, please review the pricing and hiring conditions below and then contact the Parish Office to arrange your booking.  We can be contacted by in person, by phone, or using the email form at the bottom of this page.

View Conditions of Hire

Views of the Church

Views of the Vestry House


Floor Plans

st giles emergency plan-v2

Church Plan (click to enlarge)

Ground Floor Plan-Default

Vestry House Plan (click to enlarge)

Contact us

To inquire about booking one of the church spaces, please use the form provided below.  We would be grateful if you could provide a telephone number so that we can call you back: