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Over the course of the past 25 years, a quiet but persistent revolution has been taking place in English cathedrals, in some larger churches in major towns and cities, as well as the chapels of university colleges. The numbers of people drawn by the distinctive musical character of their worship has risen significantly, with Choral Evensong becoming the locus of this persistent growth in the numbers of worshippers. A significant number of these people are under 40 years of age, and many others have, until now, lived their lives on the edges of the Church, if not completely beyond it.
Simon Reynolds believes Evensong is providing a place of sanctuary for people seeking space for reflection in a frenetic world. It is becoming a significant part of the Church of England’s mission. Lighten Our Darkness provides the definitive guide to Choral Evensong, and will be a fascinating introduction for newcomers to this historic form of worship, and for clergy and students wishing to explore its roots.
Simon Reynolds is a visiting research fellow at the University of Winchester, and was formerly a parish priest in the Church of England and succentor at St Paul's Cathedral.
‘Simon Reynolds carefully polishes the ancient treasure of Evensong, not to place it in a museum of curiosities, but to ensure its place in the human heart, that part of us that longs to sing even as shadows fall.’ Canon Mark Oakley
‘As someone who returned to an active faith in his late teens through attending Evensong at a tiny church on the edge of London, I am immensely grateful for Simon Reynolds’ tour d’horizon. The remarkable durability of Cranmer’s revised evening office, combined with its permeability for those searching after faith are both manifest in this concise, attractive and scholarly introduction.’ Rt Revd Dr Stephen Platten
‘A thoughtful bridge between parish worship and the musical culture and spirituality of sung evensong.’ Revd Dr Victoria Raymer