A SPECIAL evening of worship was held at St Mary de Haura Church in Shoreham on Sunday.
Churchwarden Ian Tompkin said it was a ‘most impressive service’, held in commemoration and remembrance of the outbreak of the First World War.
The church, in the town centre, off East Street, has a war memorial in the chapel, dedicated to the armed services.
Stuart Hutchinson, the director of music and organist, said 110 people had attended the service, which was led by the vicar, the Rev Ann Waizeneker.
Mr Hutchinson conducted the combined choirs of both St Mary’s and St Nicolas’ Church in Shoreham, together with other local singers.
He said: “Fittingly, the service began in St George’s Chapel, which contains the memorial to those fallen in war.
“Here, the choir gave a moving account of Holy is the True Light by William Harris before the service continued in the nave.
“Other music included the anthems For the Fallen and So They Gave Their Bodies.”
Mr Hutchinson played organ music by Charles Hubert Parry before the service – Elegy and Memorial Piece – and gave an uplifting account of Parry’s O God, Our Help in Ages Past at the conclusion.
Choral Evensongs are usually held at St Mary de Haura at 6pm on the third Sunday of every month.
In addition, there will be a special choral service at 6pm on Sunday, September 7, for the Patronal Festival of St Mary.
Deputy churchwarden Ray Hopper said: “We are very proud of our musical standards at St Mary’s, which are particularly displayed at our choral evensong services.
“Other evening services to note during the autumn are our All Sing Sunday on September 21 at 3pm, followed by choral evensong and our advent service on November 30 at 6pm.”
Music plays an important part in the worship and life of St Mary’s and the services are enriched by the contributions from the choir and organ. There is also a wide-ranging programme of concerts throughout the year.
The church has a three-manual Norman and Beard organ dating back to 1894, which was restored 100 years later, in 1994, and the acoustics in the church are ideal for music.