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.

All Soul’s and Advent

All Souls will be marked at our 6.30pm Sung Requiem Eucharist on Sunday, 6th November when the St Giles Choir will present Faure’s Requiem.  Names of the departed to be read out during the service can be entered in a book kept at the back of the church. The end of the month also brings the start of the season of Advent. St Paul’s has a special Advent Service at 6pm on the 26th (we shall have tickets – just ask) and we have our own at 6.30pm on the 27th of the month, always a stirring occasion. (After that, its downhill to Christmas!)

Sundays

IMG_0031Sundays begins with a said service of Holy Communion at 9am.  This simple short service lasts about 30 minutes.  It is ideal for people who have a busy Sunday ahead of them.

Our 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.

Remembering Bulwer

In this month’s parish magazine, Rector Alan reflects on the little-known legacy of John Bulwer, seventeenth century pioneer of sign language, who was buried at St Giles-in-the-Fields

john-bulwerI have every confidence in the truth of the following statement: that I am among the very few who have ever read Sectional Page 15 of the 36th volume of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, under the title ‘Section of the History of Medicine,’ dated 5th May 1943, written by H. J. Lamb, M. B., and headed ‘John Bulwer (fl. 1654), The “Chirosopher,” Pioneer in the Treatment of the Deaf and Dumb and in Psychology.’ Only myself and a lively post-graduate student from the United States who appears to have dedicated a good few years of her life to Dr Bulwer and has brought him to my attention. Oh, and I also need to mention that John Bulwer is buried at St Giles-in-the-Fields, for which reason, I feel, the days of your ignorance with regard to him should certainly come to an end.

The article begins: ‘The name of John Bulwer is little known these days’ (nothing new there then) and goes on: ‘Bulwer lived in an age when men’s minds were reaching out in all directions’ (a wonderful phrase). It was the age chronicled by Samuel Pepys, whose diary, which I am slowly reading, occasionally gets an airing when preaching. ‘It has ever been the humour of my Genius,’ Bulwer wrote in his work Anthropometamorphosis (take your time saying that), ‘to put me upon untrodden Pathes.’ He was the son of a doctor and called himself a doctor but there is no evidence that he ever was a doctor. But who are we to deny him?

His theme was the hand and the gestures it makes (hence ‘chirosopher,’ Gk., ‘hand-wisdom’). ‘I shall attempt to advance in the scrutenie and search after the scattered glances & touches of Antiquity . . . with the intent to reduce them into one continued and intire History . . . to handle Gesture, as the only speech and general language of Human Nature.’ The hand, more than the voice, was for him the most general and common form of communication – ‘As the Tongue speaketh to the Eare, so Gesture speaketh to the Eye’ – and everywhere he saw the hand at work, thus: ‘He that would see the vigour of this gesture in puris naturalibus must repaire to the Horse Cirque, or Sheep Pens in Smithfield, where those crafty Olympique Merchants who need the Hand of no Broker to speed the course of their affairs, will take you for no chapman, unless you strike them good lucke, and smite them on the palm;’ or, again, of biting the finger nails: ‘This gesture is . . . a wilde expression of fierce anger and cruell revenge . . . The Italians, a revengefull Nation, doe most usually declare by this gesture their greedy coveting to be at Hand with revenge.’ It is not difficult to see how his theories emerged particularly from observing deaf-mutes, noting that ‘wonder of necessity which Nature worketh in men that are borne deafe and dumbe: who [can] argue and dispute rhetorically by signes, and with a kinde of mute and logistique eloquence [so as to] overcome their amazed opponents.’

With a work called ‘Chrononomia’ (‘laws of the hand’) Bulwer went on to write a manual of hand gestures for orators and speakers which could amplify the spoken word (now much loved of, and studied by, politicians), not least the gestures of the preacher, as revealed in the following anecdote of Elizabeth 1st: ‘That Virgin Monarch, Queene Elizabeth of famous memory . . . having heard, or rather seene a Sermon that was preached before her . . . was much affected by it, and gave her judgement [after later reading it] that it was one of the best Sermons she ever heard, and the worst she ever read.’

But it is perhaps in his description of gesture for the use of the dumb that his work is best known among some today. In 1648 there appeared ‘Philocophus; or the Deafe and Dumbe Man’s Friend, which contained the following poetic prologue by a friend, Thomas Diconson:

Rejoice you Deafe & Dumber, your arms extend

T’embrace th’inventive goodness of a Friend!

Who heare intends, for your reliefe, to Found

An Academie, on Nature’s highest ground.

The Deafe & Dumbe get Hearing Eies which breake

Their Barre of Silence, and thence learn to speake,

Words may be seene or heard: W’are at our choyce

For to give Eare, or Eie unto a Voyce.

Time, and your patience, does not allow any fuller account of the discoveries of Dr John Bulwer as recounted in Volume 36, though there is much more. Others, later, followed up on his work to bring the art of sign language to the form it has today where it remains indispensible to those who cannot hear or speak and to many with learning difficulties who can, nevertheless, communicate by sign and gesture.

And is it not good to know that, even though so long ago, a parishioner of these parts, about whose life little is really known, ended here that life hereabouts, having gifted to others the means by which those who cannot speak might yet ‘speak’ and convey by signs the thoughts of their minds and the movements of their hearts; that here lies one who then entered that further realm where, to follow the prayer of John Donne, ‘no noise nor silence’ shall be found ‘but one equal music.’ Perhaps, then, in that world of intuition, immediate knowledge and love the gestures of the hand may prove as useful as they do here.

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.

YMCA presents The Little Big Camp at St Giles Church

LBC_A5

On Saturday, 3 September we’ll be inviting families with young children join us for an afternoon camp out in the heart of the city! Families can enjoy a discovery trail which takes you on a journey inside the historic church to its garden and playground – make sure you get your little camper’s passport stamped at each flag to receive a special prize. We promise all the usual fun and games – a bouncy castle, face painting, glitter tattoos, a teddy bear first aid station and a little bit more – a music recital for little ones in the church plus there will be a range of outdoor activities and lots marshmallows too.
A selection of very special local pop-up food and drink stalls will make sure nobody goes hungry. Just don’t forget your sleeping bags! Entry is £2 and kids go free!

Collection of Folk

We are currently hosting a monthly Folk evening organised by Lupus Albus, on the last Wednesday of the month.  Distilling the acoustic roots of our neighbours in Tin Pan Alley and working with some of London’s most marginalised people, Collection of Folk is a highlight on the London folk calendar.  To find out more, including the forthcoming line up visit their website here

Collection of Folk Poster

 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: