A CELEBRATION OF GRINLING GIBBONS
Thursday 8th September from 18.00 | £20 per person*
As the celebrations of the Tercentenary for Grinling Gibbons come to an end, the Rag – Army & Navy Club and the Grinling Gibbons Society are excited to invite you to celebrate his life and legacy at St James’s Church – Piccadilly. As part of the proceedings, a Choral Evensong will take place followed by a Drinks Reception, a Talk by Master Carver Anthony Webb and an optional supper at the Club. We invite you to continue scrolling to find out more about the event and what to expect!
18.00 – 18.45 | Choral Evensong at St James’s Church
18.45 – 19.15 | Drinks Reception at St James’s Church
19.15 – 20.15 | Talk by Master Carver Tony Webb at St James’s Church
20.30 | Optional Supper at the Rag
*The ticket includes a glass of wine on arrival. Please note that a percentage of the ticket price will be given as a donation to support The Wren Project.
Evensong according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer is a service that Grinling Gibbons would have been familiar with. He arrived in England in 1667, at a time when the Church of England was still settling its liturgy, its practices and the decoration of its church buildings. At St James’s Piccadilly, the interior is stately but plain, with clear glass windows, as befits a Protestant sensibility. But the two areas of the church most richly adorned with Gibbons’ work express the 17th-century settlement of the Church of England’s two sacraments: the baptismal font and the eucharistic altar. Gibbons, together with Wren, defined this new religious sensibility in the architecture and art they made.
To mark the tercentenary of Gibbons’s death, Evensong will be sung using 16th and 17th-century music familiar at the time: responses and canticles by Smith of Durham (1603-45) and Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625). The anthem is a setting of The Lamb by William Blake, who was baptised at St James’s in 1757.
The reredos at St James’s Church is considered to be one of the finest works by the world-famous wood carver, Grinling Gibbons. Join former Master Carver at St Paul’s Cathedral and current President of the Master Carver Association, Anthony Webb, for a special talk on his life’s work as a Gibbons carver, followed by an optional supper with the speaker in the Coffee Room. It will be an opportunity for members to get to know more about Anthony, his career as a Master Carver and his work after retirement. The talk will take place at St James’s Church – 197 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL.
MEET ANTHONY WEBB
Tony Webb is probably the last indentured 5-year apprentice to be trained in both, wood and stone carving, working in the style of the famous Grinling Gibbons.
As the great fire of London gave Wren and Gibbons the opportunity to rebuild in their unique style, the second world war gave Tony the opportunity to restore much of the destroyed Gibbons carving.
With 50 years of experience, of which 27 years were spent working at St Paul’s Cathedral, he is undoubtedly the most practised carver in the Gibbons style. Even his new work is influenced by Gibbons.
Following the talk, members of the Rag are invited to continue the conversation with Anthony Webb over supper* in the Coffee Room. There is limited availability to join the dinner table – we advise you to book now to avoid disappointment.
*Please note that the Club Menu will be served À La Carte and payment will be taken on the day.
Many members will have heard of The Wren Project, a scheme to restore and rejuvenate the historic Sir Christopher Wren church of St James’s. The Club is very proud to support our neighbours from St James’s Church as they go on this journey. We invite you to play your part in making history by helping them restore St James’s Church opened in 1684, here at the heart of the community.