Handel’s Messiah at Christmas

The Callington Singers are very happy to announce the 2022 Christmas Concert at Stoke Climsland Church on 10th December, commencing at 4:30pm. The programme will include excerpts from the Messiah, plus some traditional Christmas Music. The choir will be joined by Soprano soloist Samantha Rowe, accompanied by Mark Smith and led by Musical Director Dr. Andrew Wilson.

Tickets cost £10 (free for under 16s) and can be purchased HERE

George Frederic Handel by Balthasar Denner

The prospect of singing in the newly refurbished nave Stoke Climsland church is one which the choir is very much looking forward to. The acoustic has changed completely since the choir stalls were removed and the nave re-floored in stone earlier this year.

Stoke Climsland church also has a special place in our hearts because of the memorial to Thomas Calvert which hangs in the foyer. His contribution to village life is undeniable, given this glowing epitaph, which reads as follows:

In Memory of
Mr Thomas Calvert
Late of this parish
who in the year 1746
First introduced into this Church
four part Psalmody
and with Indefatigable Pains and perseverance
not only encouraged but in a great measure supported it
with great Reputation upwards of 30 years
He Was an Honest Man
a Kind Master
a Sincere Friend
And a good Christian
He departed this life at Plymouth
on June 3rd 1781
in the 71st year of his Age.

Although his memorial stone describes him as being ‘of the parish of Stoke Climsland’, Thomas Calvert was born in Moor Monkton, just outside of York. He was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Calvert and was baptised on the 18th August 1710. How he came to be a pillar of the Stoke Climsland community is a complete mystery but we do know that he was a Coroner.

Mr. Calvert’s promotion of four part psalmody singing reflects the growing popularity at this period of incorporating music into church services. Consequently, Thomas Calvert was one of many people who were and are instrumental in the creation of the rich and varied sacred musical tradition which we now enjoy in this country and accordingly, we owe him a debt of gratitude.


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