Thursday, 25 October 2012

Banks of Green Willow

Our Congratulations to Tony Murphy, from St Mary’s Choir, whose Book ‘BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW: The Life and Times of George Butterworth’ is published in November. Butterworth, who has strong Yorkshire connections, died in the Trenches of the Somme, and his orchestral work, ‘The Banks of the Green Willow’, is rightly regarded as a high point of early 20th Century English Music, and continues to be among many people’s favourite works.

 From the Publishers description:

The Banks of Green Willow places the life and music of George Butterworth (1885-1916) in the cultural and political context of late Victorian and Edwardian England. It considers the intellectual and ideological origins of the folk-music movement, in which he was a central figure. It looks, too, at his close friends, the lives of many of whom were sacrificed on the battlefields of the First World War.

The author has had access to an hitherto unpublished collection of Butterworth's correspondence, and other material, deposited in the Bodleian Library by members of George Butterworth's family. Together with more recent documentation concerning his friends, they not only provide invaluable biographical detail, but also illustrate his single-mindedness of character, whether at Eton and Oxford, or as an enthusiastic collector of folk-songs or a Morris dancer and, finally, as a very brave soldier.

Butterworth's music compositions are considered informatively so as not to deter the general reader and uses extracts from his own diary, letters, and the regimental diary records of the Durham Light Infantry. The book concludes with an account of George Butterworth's war years, in which he was recommended three times for the Military Cross.

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Dedication Festival

The Mayor and Mayoress of Calderdale, Bishop Tony, Bishop of Pontefract and myself, pictured on Sunday 30th September, as we celebrated the Dedication Festival of St Mary's Church, marking the completion of 3 years and £300,000 worth of repair and renovation to the fabric of a building now the best part of 850 years old. The day marked a fitting re-dedication of priests and people, and an expression of hope and faith that this House of Prayer may continue to be a beacon for this community. No sense of job done quite yet though, as the rain water is coming through the north aisle again! Now the Forth Bridge is no longer being constantly painted, perhaps ' it's like repairing St Mary's' could become a replacement metaphor. A great day nonetheless, rounded off with Choral Evensong supported by folk from Churches Together; my grateful thanks to all who have worked for this day, and all who worked to make it special, may it live long in the memory.
We are also pleased to see Moses and Aaron back again from storage. Up until at least the early years of the 19th Century, these two paintings formed a part of the High Altar Reredos, so that Elland folk spoke of 'taking Vows before Moses and Aaron', meaning they were getting married. An early 19th Century Rector and his Wardens tried unsuccessfully to levy the fee for their renovation to the cost of the daughter chapels, who refused to pay, meaning the pictures languished in the Rectory for some years. They are not unique, similar ones survive for instance in Silkstone Church in South Yorkshire, and the style was perhaps quite common at one time.