During the last year I completed an a cappella setting of George Herbert's poem A Wreath, written in memory of Edmund Bridges, who had sung tenor in the Oxford choirs of Magdalen College and Christ Church Cathedral. Together with a throng of Edmund's friends, I journeyed to his home village in Dorset, and during a most hospitable day there, A Wreath received a fine first performance in the village church from an ad hoc choir under the direction of Anna Lapwood. She had joined Magdalen as its first ever female organ scholar during Edmund's time in the choir, and spoke of his kindly encouragement to her.
The Bridges family are planning a charitable foundation in memory of Edmund which, it's envisaged, will commission music, support choral singing and music in schools (he had latterly worked as a teacher.) A beautiful memorial stone was also unveiled in the churchyard during our visit, carved by the remarkable Lida Cardozo Kindersley. I found it very helpful to talk to Lida about memorialising the dead, and how to go about commemorating a person we may not have known during their lifetime. The whole visit was spent dodging giant thunderstorms heard rolling in the distance but never quite breaking out into rain during garden party hours. Altogether, an uplifting day.
Pictured - many beautiful evenings on the allotment this summer, urban though it is.