you have delivered us from the power of darkness,
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
grant that, as his death has brought us to life,
so his continual presence in us
may raise us to eternal joy.
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to our Easter Newsletter.
Life in and around the Temple is creeping back as the Government’s working from home directive has been lifted and we are adjusting to new patterns of working. Working from home on Mondays and Fridays appears to be becoming established for the majority of office workers in the City, with office working from Tuesday through to Thursday becoming the new normal. The office, and this includes barristers’ chambers, is becoming more a place to meet and collaborate (especially for younger people) whilst more focused, uninterrupted work is being undertaken at home or, for many barristers, in court. It is clear that occupancy levels in the Temple are changing and as chambers review their accommodation needs it looks as if ‘hybrid working’ is here to stay.
Our patterns of worship are also changing. Services of Choral Evensong on Wednesday, followed by drinks in the Round, have become increasingly popular and, we believe, important in providing opportunities for contributing to the Inns’ collegiate life. These have included Epiphany Carols, Candlemas and commemoration of the Consecration of the Round Church and The Queen’s Accession, an Address from the Chair of the Bar on the crisis in Ukraine and its implications for the international rule of law, services for St Patrick and St David (with the London Welsh Male Voice Choir) and our ever popular Valentine’s Day service for couples we have married (or look forward to marrying) in the Church.
Especially significant was a service on 30 March for all those known to us who had died during the previous two years of the pandemic. Sir Christopher Clarke, a former Treasurer of Middle Temple and great friend of the Church, gave a most moving address which was much appreciated by the huge congregation of families, friends and colleagues who gathered afterwards at a Reception in Middle Temple Hall, generously supported by both Inns.
We held a service of prayer and reflection for Ukraine at lunchtime on 29 March and contributed to the appeals for relief of the Ukrainians fleeing from their homeland.
Our special services have complemented our regular Book of Common Prayer services of Choral Communion and Mattins on Sundays with the Temple Church Choir as well as our said Holy Communion services. All of these services are livestreamed and broadcast on our dedicated YouTube channel
Meanwhile a steady stream of services of marriage, baptism, funerals and memorials continues. In the last three months there have been no fewer than 17 baptisms and there are a large number of weddings ‘in the pipeline’ as many couples had to postpone their plans (in some cases on more than one occasion) over the past two years.
Our first priority remains the safety and wellbeing of everyone who comes to the Church so we are continuing to follow the ongoing advice of the Church of England (following the latest Government guidance) and the direction of the Inner and Middle Temple. We monitor the position regularly.
We continue to hold in our prayers all those who have lost their lives (and livelihoods) as a result of Covid and its variants. We pray for those who mourn for the loss of loved ones and those living in anxiety, fear or isolation.
The Church is seeing a welcome return of visitors including groups of students from universities at home and abroad and from schools. We were pleased to welcome the British Pilgrimage Trust en route from the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey and we look forward to receiving more groups following this trail as tourists and visitors return to the two Cities. On Friday lunchtimes the Master offers a talk on “The Temple Church – Magna Carta, the Da Vinci Code and 800 years in between.” This is proving to be very popular and it complements our exhibition in the Round Church on Magna Carta 1215-2015.
We continue to host a large number of concerts (including one for Afghan Women, for the Busch Trio and for Collegium Musicum’s Mozart Requiem), Wednesday lunchtime organ recitals, and Inns’ events (including Inner Temple Students Association Panel Discussion on Women at the Bar and the Inn’s History Society on Reader William Crashaw’s Library). The Church has also been used as a venue for recordings by The Sixteen and we welcomed the BBC Singers for a live concert which attracted a capacity audience.
We were delighted in February to welcome Roland Deller, the new Chief Executive of the Temple Music Foundation who recently succeeded Carol Butler on her retirement after 14 years. Roland is a successful and experienced musical administrator and manager as well as being a talented musician in his own right. He has been the driving force behind the highly successful New Paths Music Festivals in Beverley. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role and has already identified a number of potentially exciting joint working opportunities between the Church and the TMF. There is more about Roland and the TMF’s programme below.
It only remains for us to welcome the completion of the Inner Temple’s Pegasus Project which will be opened formally by HRH The Princess Royal in May following a special service in the Church.
This Newsletter comes with very best wishes for a joyful Easter from all of us in the Temple Church team:
Robin and Mark, Cath, Charlie, Matt, Roger, Susan and Tom
Catherine: T: 020 7 353 8559 E: Catherine@templechurch.com
Director of Music, Roger Sayer writes
Since Christmas the choristers have been very busy with team-building activities, both here at the Church and, for the first time in two years, they had an opportunity to go away on 14-16 January for a residential training weekend at Felden Lodge. On 15 January the choristers gave an excellent performance to a full church at St Peter’s, Berkhamsted, which helped to solidify their work together. Unfortunately the weekend turned into a Covid spreader, laying off the music staff and a number of choristers for the following week.
I am pleased to report that there has been steady and encouraging progress in the standards of musical performance and in team spirit. The internal singing competition, which is now an annual event, was judged by a specialist. Each boy, from the youngest to the oldest, had to perform a song. This is all part of growing the choristers’ confidence and developing their understanding of the art of performance.
We have recently awarded the position of Head Chorister jointly to two outstanding boys – Jack Spickernell and Jamie Brown, and made Mikael Khaliq-Rattray Deputy Head Chorister. The choristers’ installation took place in the Church on 13 February.
On that occasion we also installed Elliot Ogden (a music scholar at the City of London School) as the first Arthur William May Chorister. This award was made possible by a generous gift for the training of choristers by Mrs Dorothy May, in memory of her father who came to the Church in the 1930s and shook hands with Sir George Thalben-Ball (former Organist and Director of Music, a post he held for nearly 60 years).
At the same time Roger was presented with his Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music (FRSCM), in recognition of his services to church music internationally and nationally.
Choir practices take place four days a week and are often preceded by a game of ball, with Murph my labrador. We are thrilled that our recruitment is up and that the younger half of the choir is full. This bodes well for the future. Inevitably, boys’ voices change and sometimes earlier than expected and so it is that currently the numbers are slightly lower than normal. Despite this, the choristers will be performing in Britten’s War Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in May, as part of the Royal Albert Hall’s 150th Anniversary celebration.
We are now two terms into our female choral scholarship programme and are reaping the rewards of having two young and dedicated singers, Yasmin and Tilly, as part of the Temple Singers team. They have benefited from expert tuition from our in-house singing teachers which is yielding great results. The scholars have the unique opportunity of singing alongside professional singers and, in addition, we have been developing the mentoring aspect of the programme, with talks given by Lizzie Weisberg and Amy Haworth from the Temple Singers about life as freelancing professionals. The feedback from both scholars was extremely positive, and had the bonus of netting them tickets to the Royal Opera’s production of La Traviata, where Lizzie is a member of the Chorus.
In the autumn, both scholars sang in the concert containing Tallis’ 40 part motet, Spem in alium, and on 3 April Yasmin joined the Aurora Nova choir, an all-female professional choir, to sing Evensong at St Paul’s. The choir was very impressed with Yasmin’s contribution and declared her one to watch in future, which makes us very proud! We are now advertising for next year’s choral scholar cohort, with up to four scholars on the scheme.
If anyone knows any talented young female singers who may be interested in the programme, please direct them to our website here:
The Temple Music Foundation concert on 31 March was a milestone because it was the first full choir concert since 2019 and it was attended by an appreciative capacity audience. Future plans include participation in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in October and in John Rutter’s Christmas concerts, both with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. We are very grateful to the parents for giving such support through two difficult years of the pandemic. To be able to celebrate these milestones so soon is little short of a miracle.
I am very fortunate to be supported here at Temple by incredibly talented colleagues. On 21 March we saw our Assistant Director of Music, Tom Allery in action leading a performance at the Church given by 100 primary school children. Over the course of a number of weeks, Tom had been running singing workshops at Hackney New Primary School and Cyril Jackson Primary School in Limehouse. The event here at the church was the culmination of this work, and Tom was joined by three of our Temple Singers to take the children through their paces. Much fun was had by all and Tom is looking forward to continuing the initiative.
Finally, many congratulations to Charlie Andrews, our Liturgical Organist, who has been appointed Professor of Organ at the Royal College of Music.
Following the approval last year by the Benchers of Inner and Middle Temple of changes in the governance arrangements between the Inns and the Temple Church, responsibility for the management of the Temple Church will be transferred from the Church Committee to the Temple Church Trust, pending the successful outcome of the Inns’ application to the Charity Commission.
In the meantime the Temple Church Committee continues to discharge this responsibility. It met on 17 February under its new Chair, Andrew Spink QC and the new Treasurer, Simon O’Toole and welcomed three other new members. We are very grateful to the previous Chairman and Treasurer, Sir Stephen Tomlinson and David Mildon QC respectively who guided us through a very challenging period with great skill and commitment. Our thanks for their contributions also go to Simon Murray and Rebecca Hawkes-Reynolds on their retirement from the committee.
Andrew Spink QC – Chair of the Church Committee
Andrew Spink QC has practised at the Bar for 37 years, of which 19 years have been as a QC. He is a part-time judge sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions of the High Court. He also sits as an arbitrator. Andrew served as the Chair of the Commercial Bar Association from 2017 to 2019. He recently stepped down as joint Head of Outer Temple Chambers.
Andrew’s specialist expertise includes complex commercial civil disputes, commercial trusts, banking, financial services and pensions law, regulatory law, and non-contentious strategic advisory work in all of these fields. He has extensive experience of mediation and arbitration.
He was previously a member of the Church Committee and was closely involved in the Organ Restoration Appeal in 2008. Andrew is a Bencher of Middle Temple.
Simon O’Toole – Treasurer of the Church Committee
Simon is a working door tenant at 5 Pump Court Chambers in London. Called to the Bar in 1984, his practice includes all aspects of contentious and non-contentious property, trusts and probate law.
Simon is a Bencher of Inner Temple and currently serves on the Inn’s Estate Committee and Communications Sub-committee. He is a former chair of the Outreach Committee. He is also former member of the Consultative Board of the HELP Programme run by the Council of Europe, and is now the HELP Info Point for England and Wales.
Ruth Kirby QC
Ruth has practised exclusively at the family Bar for more than 20 years. She was a journalist, a cycle courier and an expert witness before her call to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1994. She took Silk in 2021. Originally educated in Ireland Ruth has also been called to the Irish Bar, in 2004. She practises at 4 Paper Buildings in the Temple. The bulk of her work, including Court of Protection, is in the Family Division of the High Court.
Ruth deals with all aspects of private and public family law – both domestic and international. She has particular experience in representing high profile families and individuals in private law disputes and of representing very religiously-observant families. Ruth is an advocacy trainer at Middle Temple and a member of the Inn’s Hall Committee.
Ex Officio members
This year we have also welcomed two ex officio members of the Church Committee, the Treasurers of the Inner and Middle Temple, Master Deborah Taylor and Master Maura McGowan respectively.
New Chief Executive, Roland Deller writes …
It is nine weeks since I first climbed the five crooked flights of stairs at 1 Inner Temple Lane, as the new Chief Executive of Temple Music Foundation. Since then, TMF has staged six performances, welcoming over 1,500 concertgoers to the Temple (including one of our largest ever audiences – for the Temple Church Choir’s rush-hour performance of Allegri’s Miserere). Don’t miss the choir’s next concert in the Church on 23 June – sure to be another blockbuster, featuring as it does Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Parry’s I was Glad.
It is heartening that the appetite for the arts in this special place remains so strong, especially in the wake of the pandemic. But we do not take that for granted, and we will be striving to offer an attractive range of events which continue to inspire people – as well as continuing to draw some of the world’s finest musicians to the Inns – for years to come.
2023 is set to be a particularly exciting year. It is TMF’s 20th birthday: the charity began life two decades ago by commissioning John Tavener’s 7-hour The Veil of the Temple. As well as commemorating that, we will be marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Byrd, one of the great composers of the Renaissance. Our programming will also nod to the Inns’ American connections, and the roster of great singers joining Julius Drake in Middle Temple Hall next year will include the ‘star-spangled’ mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton.
In the meantime, we will be unveiling and presenting a vibrant programme for the second half of 2022. We cannot wait to fill the newly-restored Inner Temple Treasury Building with music of the highest quality over the seasons ahead, as well as returning to our other, much-loved venues.
It has been a joy to meet so many of you during these frenetic first few months in the job, and I am grateful to my friends and colleagues at the Temple Church for this opportunity to introduce myself.
My musical education began as a chorister in Beverley Minster, and I feel fortunate to have spent those formative years in such an exceptionally beautiful Gothic building. In the last few years, I have been overseeing the restoration of Beverley’s other great medieval church – St Mary’s – raising the £2 million required to save the nave and its remarkable collection of Tudor roof bosses. Both churches are key performance spaces in the New Paths festival which I founded in 2016 with my partner, the pianist Libby Burgess, and which is a major cultural event in the Yorkshire & Humber region.
Before moving to work in the arts, I enjoyed a 17-year career in financial services at the trust company of Bedell & Cristin, one of Jersey’s oldest law firms: first at its HQ on the Island (where my ‘side hustle’ was playing the organ at St Brelade’s Church) and then on the ‘mainland’ (as a founder member of the firm’s London office in 2006).
On Easter Day I will be back in Jersey attending the dawn service at its ancient Fishermen’s Chapel, overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches in the British Isles. Meanwhile up in Beverley, the choir will sing anthems at sunrise from atop the Minster’s towers. Wherever you are, I wish you a peaceful Easter. Details of some of TMF’s upcoming concerts appear elsewhere in this newsletter: I look forward to meeting many of you at those events, or around the Inns, as we continue our work to enrich life in this special place for the next twenty years.
Temple Music Foundation
With the support of the Inner and Middle Temple, the American Friends of Temple Church in London was established as an independent non-profit organisation with three objectives:
· to deepen and broaden the institutional and personal amity between the judges and attorneys of the USA and the Inns and their members
· to expand understanding of and advance the Rule of Law through the international public discussion of pressing socio-legal and ethical concerns in our increasingly multicultural jurisdictions
· To support the Inns’ project of the Restoration & Renewal of the Temple Church
The Friends’ original plans for a conference this autumn fell victim to Covid but happily the Master of the Temple will be participating in the forthcoming American Bar Association’s International Law Section Conference in Washington, DC (26-29 April). Apart from moderating a session on ‘Civility, Robin will be meeting informally with and addressing a number of US lawyers about the history of the Church and its constitutional significance on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as introducing them to the American Friends of the Temple Church. We are very grateful to Thomson Reuters and Master Tom Leighton (Honorary Bencher of Inner Temple) for enabling Robin’s visit to take place.
As the ‘cradle of the common law’ the Temple Church is the natural hub for future engagement of this kind and we plan once again to mark US Independence Day at a special service of Choral Evensong and, in recognition of interest from our Canadian friends, to mark Canada Day as well.
Members of the Friends have a standing invitation to our services of Choral Evensong followed by drinks in the Master’s garden and, in due course, to become involved in a social programme in the heart of legal London.
We are very grateful to the three founding Directors, Robert Brown, Master William Hubbard (Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple) and Steve Zack for their generous support in so many ways for the American Friends of the Temple Church. They join others in supporting the programme and assisting us with the Restoration and Renewal of the Temple Church (see further below).
A link for making tax-efficient donations through the Charities Aid Foundation America can be accessed here:
As many readers will be aware, this project has three main elements:
The project, which has been summarised in previous newsletters, is described in more detail here:
As we reported in our last Newsletter most of the work involved in conceiving and developing a masterplan (RIBA Stage 2) has been completed. But the search for a potentially acceptable design solution for the remaining stage, that of improving access to the Triforium, has proved elusive hitherto because of the disruptive impact of each option on the historic fabric, loss of light and significant cost.
However, following a recent meeting with our architects, Purcell we believe we have identified an approach which could provide a solution. It could enable us to enhance the value of the (currently much under-utilised) space at this level (for example, for exhibitions) and improve access (including disabled access) to the Triforium which accommodates the Columbarium. We plan to bring this forward to the next meeting of the Church Committee. We remain much indebted to Ian Garwood, Director of Estates at Middle Temple, for his continuing support and advice with the project.
We are now close to the stage when a co-ordinated design can begin to take form from the settled concept design (RIBA Stage 3). We are currently awaiting the outcome of our application to the Corporation of London for funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy Neighbourhood Fund (CILNF) which would enable us to embark upon Stage 3. We understand that the outcome of our application will become known by the end of May.
It is usually during, or at the end of, RIBA Stage 3 that a formal application for planning permission can be made. As we have previously explained in these newsletters, before any application for planning permission could be made in this case, we would need to have consulted the Temple Church Committee (or Temple Church Trust as it may then have become), to whom we have been reporting regularly on progress, and obtained their approval before providing the members of both Inns with their opportunity to be consulted about the proposals and their approval obtained.
Once the design has crystallised and the necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained we shall embark, with the Inns’ support, on a funding campaign aimed at individual donors and the Inns‘ members (as was undertaken in support of the refurbishment of the Church Organ in 2011-13), in addition to making approaches to relevant charitable trusts.
All donations to the funding appeal will be appropriately acknowledged. Opportunities for recognition in suitable form of substantial donations from institutional and individual donors continue to be under consideration. We also hope to hold a suitable event to introduce the Restoration and Renewal project to potential donors and the Inns’ members, accompanied with some hospitality and music provided by the Temple Church Choir.