Home Page - Forthcoming Activities

This page provides an index to the various talks and courses given or planned.  Sessions range from Quiet Days, Retreats or Evening Classes, usually in the London Area or elsewhere in the UK.  Full handouts are always provided. In general all sessions are open to the general public, and usually free of charge.  william374
Forthcoming Activities: 

London Gregorian Chant Project - Every Day Chanting in London

As Part of the Archbishops’ “Thy Kingdom Come” prayer initiative between Ascension Day and Whitsun / Pentecost, it is planned to chant Lauds, the Midday Office, and possibly Vespers and Compline in Gregorian Chant in Churches or Chapels in London on every day of the week.  Current bookings are as shown below.

Introducing Gregorian Chant as a natural way of Praising God - for every day use, whether in church or at home.  Chant is easy to learn, and - as Saint Augustine pointed out - an effective way to pray - with the voice, but more importantly with the Heart and with one's Life.

These sessions provide a practical introduction to praying through Gregorian Chant - as Christians have done round the world for over 1500 years. You will be in good company.

Editions used:

Lauds: Heures Grégoriennes from the French Community of St Martin in conjunction with Solesmes, in (modern) Latin with parallel translation from Universalis.

Midday Office: Alton Anglican Service in English from the Anglican Religious Community near Winchester. Copies with music provided: great either to listen to, or sing along.

Vespers: Antiphonale Romanum (where available) or Heures Grégoriennes. Occasionally the (simplified) Mundelein Psalter from the USA.

If you are free, come along and put your head in.  Venues are still being booked, but are as shown below. If you or your Church would like to join in, drop me an email - wjcbailey[at]gmail.com.  Details on Thy Kingdom Come – Events website. https://www.thykingdomcome.global/

Current Bookings:

Maundy Thursday 13 April   12 noon Midday Office: The Charterhouse
Ascension Day 25 May 8.00 a.m. Lauds: St. Andrew by the Wardrobe
      12 noon Midday Office; St Saviour, Pimlico, followed by Mass
Friday 26 May 8.00 a.m. Lauds: St. Andrew by the Wardrobe
      12.10 p.m. Midday Office: St. Matthew, Westminster, followed by Mass
Saturday 27 May 10.00 a.m. Lauds: St. Barnabas Pimlico
12 noon Midday Office: St Barnabas, Pimlico
Sunday 28 May    
Bank Holiday 29 May
12.45 p.m. Midday Office: RF of St Katharine followed by talk
Tuesday 30 May   8.00 a.m. Lauds: St. Andrew by the Wardrobe
      12 noon for 12.15. Midday Office: St Magnus Martyr: followed by Mass
Wednesday 31 May 8.00 a.m. Lauds: St. Andrew by the Wardrobe
12.10 p.m. Midday Office: Church House (not open to the public)
Thursday 1 June   8.00 a.m. Lauds: St. Andrew by the Wardrobe
      12 noon for 12.15. Midday Office: St Magnus Martyr: followed by Mass
Friday 2 June 8.00 a.m. Lauds: St. Andrew by the Wardrobe
12.10 p.m. Midday Office: Lambeth Palace (not open to the public)
Saturday 3 June    10.00 a.m. Lauds: St. Barnabas Pimlico
       12 noon Midday Office: St Barnabas, Pimlico
Pentecost 4 June

How to get there:
St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars EC4V 5DE. (Tube: Blackfriars)
St. Barnabas, St. Barnabas Street, Pimlico SW1W 8PF. (Tube: Sloane Square)
St. Magnus Martyr, City, Lower Thames Street EC3R 6DN. (Tube: Monument)
St. Matthews, Westminster, Great Peter Street SW1P 2BU. (Tube: St James's Park)
St. Saviour, St George's Square, Pimlico  SW1V 3QW. (Tube: Pimlico)
Royal Foundation of St Katharine, Stepney E14 8DS. (DLR: Limehouse)

Visitors are welcome at all services (unless otherwise indicated), and are welcome either to listen, or to join in. Handouts and full instructions provided.


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Recent Talks:
"The Venerable Bede - the leading British Theologian"

A talk at Southwark (Anglican) Cathedral - on Britain's greatest theologian, who produced extensive Bible Commentaries (in Latin mainly for priests), Published sermons (in Anglo-Saxon – Tynesiders largely just could not understand Latin – or indeed Greek or Hebrew – actually the same as today), large numbers of School books, widely used in Europe (his book on mathematics for example assume you know your 76 times table – modern translations put it into a text box), ah yes and of course his History of the English Speaking Peoples, which I think is - probably unfairly - his best known publication today.  By invitation of the Community of the Resurrection - London Companions.

"Living Life with the Early Church"


A series of six Evening Talks at St Saviour's Church, Pimlico, London SW1V 3QW. Adjacent to Pimlico Underground.  Evenings were stand alone, so that if people could only come occasionally, this was not a problem.

Individual evenings covered:

        1.           Early Church: People, Times and Problems

        2.           Baptism and the Lord’s Prayer

        3.           Communities and Living the Life

        4.           Daily Worship and the Early Church

        5.           Praying the Psalms – Pictures and Illustrations

        6.           Foundations of Christianity in Britain.

Followed by Compline. Handouts provided on all evenings.

Learning about these early Christian leaders’ life and work is of vital importance to us as we strive to lead our own lives of discipleship. 


We grow in our faith and discipleship with Christ through regular prayer and reading of the scripture, but it is also helpful to draw on the insights of many Early Christians, whose words have encouraged many down through the centuries, and echo strongly today.


In so doing we encounter the great wisdom and strength of the many courageous women and men who knew the cost of holding fast to the Christian faith throughout bitter struggles and persecutions, and left us help and guidance.

Cantica Divina - The Psalms and Saint Augustine


A talk for the London Branch of the Companions of the Community of the Resurrection at Southwark (Anglican) Cathedral on Saturday 19 September at 2.00pm. Adjacent to London Bridge. Introducing singing the Psalms with the heart, in traditions of the Early Church, especially St. Augustine's insights and imagery in the Monastic Tradition. 


More Recent Talks

John Cassian - Foundation Stone of Western Monasticism
Given on Thursday 5 March 2015 in Saint Giles' Church, Oxford, as part of their Lunchtime Series organised by the Oxford Centre for Spiritual Growth on "A Continual Journey to the Source; Exploring the Wisdom of the Mystics".

Watch the talk on YouTube on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZEGR94uIuk&fmt=18  .

Saint Wilfrid - England's Greatest Bishop and inspiration for today
A set of two talks on one of England's most influential saints given in Saint Wilfrid's Church, Duchy Road, Harrogate, to mark the Centenary of the dedication of the Church, and to provide an insight into a great Bishop and Benedictine monk with many practical messages for today.

Orthodox Spirituality of West and East - New Vistas for us in the 21st Century - By invitation of Abbot Giles Hill OSB of Alton
A talk in Alton Abbey for the Friends of Alton Abbey at the invitation of Abbot Giles. This evening represented a version of the talk originally given to a UNESCO-sponsored Conference in Tbilisi (Georgia), and provided a fascinating account not only of the world of the Early Church, but the practical implications for us in the world today.  The evening was structured as an introductory 45 minute talk, followed by a more detailed session after the break. 

Living Life with Saint John of Beverley. 2 talks with full handouts and readings by invitation of the Rector of Saint John Lee (near Hexham) for the Patronal Festival. These were repeated a few weeks' later at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in London.
Hexham in Northumberland today is a small market town in the Upper Tyne valley.  In the early 7th century however, the Bishops of Hexham were responsible for most of what is today the province of the Archbishop of York.  Hexham Abbey and Cathedral was said to be the largest church buildings this side of the Alps, English theology was at its peak (the Venerable Bede wrote over 70 books, mainly Bible commentaries), Gregorian Chant was in its golden age (under John of Jarrow and St. Acca of Hexham). and its fame worldwide.  This evening which has been specially requested by the Vicar of St John Lee (near Acomb where John of Hexham and Beverley worked one of his miracles) will provide a solid introduction to the Saints and Life of John of Hexham and Beverley, with Northumbrian Christianity arguably at its peak.


Saint John of Beverley - Where Churches East and West meet in Northumberland.  - By invitation of the Fellowship of St Alban & St Sergius - London Branch, in the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, London.
Based on the Northumbrian course, but focusing on John as a bridge between the Roman (Latin) and Eastern (Celtic) traditions at a time of extreme turbulence, during which John acted as a key initiator of the church in the North of England and in what was to become the Archdicese of York.  He trained the Venerable Bede, and was instrumental in developing Hexham prior to Saint Wilfrid.

Handouts for most courses are available on this website.  Copyright is reserved.


Other Current Courses
Living Life with the Early Church.  A series of 6 evenings designed for a general Parish Audience, introducing the Early Church, their problems, strengths and writings, and practical guidance for living life today. The actual course included Powerpoint slides with many illustrations, icons and other information.  Reference Guides - two pages long - are provided on key topics. Followed by Sung Compline.  Click here for more details and access to handouts.
Reading the Early Church Fathers. A series of 5 evenings following on from the previous course, providing not only an introduction to a specific Author (with a two page potted introduction), but reading a few of his (or her) key writings. Participants also were provided with additional readings to follow up with at home if they wished.  Authors covered include: St Benedict, St Ephraim the Syrian, The Desert Fathers, St Augustine of Hippo and the Venerable Bede.  Click here for more details and access to handouts.
Cantica Divina.  A specialist half day introducing singing the Psalms with the heart, in traditions of the Churches of East and West, especially St. Augustine's insights and imagery.  Followed by the Sixth Hour with psalms in the Monastic Tradition for Saint Ignatius of Antioch and Saint Etheldreda of Ely.  Click here for more details and access to handouts.
Canterbury, Augustine, Gregory.  A course of two Thursday evenings first given in 2010 in St. John the Evangelist's Church, West Hendon, focusing on the Early Church in Britain, and in particular guidance given by Saint Gregory the Great in his Book of Pastoral Guidance.  Evenings covered both General Guidance on Management, and how to deal with different types of People. Launched at a Cream Tea at St. John's Church, Algernon Road, West Hendon (near Hendon mainline station - from St. Pancras).
The Teachings of the Desert Fathers.  A talk for the Annual Retreat of the Oblates of Ealing Abbey. This included an introduction to the subject, in particular relating it to the Rule of Saint Benedict, and John Cassian.  Followed by the Sixth Hour (sung by all).  As this Retreat was not open to the general public, handouts are not available on this site, but may be available on request.

Saint Mary of Egypt – A Message for today?  A Lenten reflection on the focus of the Eastern Church for the key figure of the Sunday before Palm Sunday, at the invitation of the Catholic Society of Saint John Chrysostom and the Fellowship of Saint Alban & Saint Sergius, in the Catholic Church of Saint Anselm, Tooting Bec.
Praying with the Early Church.  The Early Church – over the first seven or eight centuries – was a time of contrasts – from persecution under aggressive atheism, to the slow and steady disintegration of the Roman Empire, and the end of stability, at a time when Christianity was slowly finding its feet, while being blamed for everything from cannibalism to the fall of Rome.


Against this though were devised some of the most powerful prayers ever written, for Christians who saw themselves as part of a church across the world and down through the ages in one great Community.  These prayers were written down, and are widely in active use, although less often in England.  This short course  looks at some of them, and provide guidance on using them in the 21st century.


Keep in Touch
Talks are given - usually to Churches or other organisations in various parts of the UK on request. If you would like further details, drop me an email on wjcbailey [at] gmail.com  Contents are normally tailored to local requirements.
I look forward to hearing from you.

The icon of Christ Pantocrator on this page was written in Târgu Mureş in Romania, and is situated in Hexham Abbey in Northumberland, England.


Most of the text on this site is copyright © WJ Cooper Bailey 2013-6, unless otherwise noted. If you find a mistake, or there are any copyright problems, please let me know on wjcbailey [at] gmail.com so I can correct it.