On selected Sundays throughout the year, St Anne’s hosts Bach Vespers, an evening Lutheran service featuring a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach and the music of his contemporaries.
Here are some facts about the musical service and its history:
- St Anne’s Lutheran Church has held regular Bach Vespers in the City of London for over 35 years (today using St Mary-at-Hill Church, Billingsgate)
- Each Bach Vespers features a cantata that J. S. Bach wrote for that specific Sunday, alongside the appropriate Gospel readings. The sermon illuminates the intimate connections between the music and its meaning for Christians today
- The service is in English; the German words of the choral music come with translations
- Bach Vespers is free to attend. Anyone can come. The congregation are encouraged to make a donation for the church and its music during the offertory. The series has been sustained for over two decades by the generous support of individuals, city businesses and by the long-term investment of the Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche Hannovers
- Bach Vespers is a unique event on the London liturgical and musical scene. The series has been broadcast on BBC Radios 3 and 4
- Some of the best professional players in the UK and Europe have performed in the series, establishing partnerships with groups like the RIAS Kammerchor & Capella Vitalis Berlin
- Each Bach Vespers brings over seventy people together to experience the music, gospel and fellowship of Lutheran worship
To learn more about the history of Bach Vespers, and to see photographs and hear clips, visit the site of the current resident professional performers, City Bach Collective.
Find details of the next Bach Vespers on our Facebook page.
Read a review of Bach Vespers on Ship of Fools.
All photos on this page are courtesy of Andrea Liu.