St Mary de Haura, Shoreham, was the packed setting on Saturday 20th October for a most moving event which brought a large number people together for a special commemoration of the Armistice of 1918. This was “A Great Calm” - an extraordinary presentation of words and music which was the final event of Shoreham Wordfest's programme, the theme of which this year was 'All Change'.
Heather Allen, Tony Allen, Janet Behan and Karl Davies had great presence as speakers for a wide range of poems and prose by Wilfrid Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Margaret Sackville and Edward Thomas, Vera Brittain, Eric Maria Remarque and others.
Interspersed with these were choral pieces performed beautifully by the Shoreham Chamber Choir including Gibbons’ “Drop, drop slow tears”, Stanford’s “Beati quorum via” and Hubert Parry’s magnificent “My soul, there is a country”, as well as touching settings of “In Flanders fields” and “For the fallen”.
Violist Alexandra Urquhart performed two movements from Bach’s Cello suites most powerfully, and the final piece was Elgar’s “Nimrod” from the Enigma Variations, played on piano.
The evening was devised by Janet Pressley, in collaboration with musician Lena Urquhart. It ended with a vote of thanks given by the vicar of St Mary’s, Ann Waizeneker, during which she reminded everyone of the role St Mary’s had played in the community during the WW1. All in all, a most special and memorable event!