Welcome to our Festival blog

We are a small congregation who organised a highly successful 'William Byrd Festival' in May 2011 to celebrate the life and work of the village's Elizabethan composer, William Byrd (c.1540 - 1623). In 2012 we played host to the world-famous choir The Cardinall's Musick under their director Andrew Carwood.

This website contains everything you need to know about William Byrd and his links with Stondon Massey. The church is open for services, of course, and on the second Sunday afternoon in the month during the summer.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

William Byrd Festival Prayer

Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing. All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times.
(Ecclesiasticus 44 v. 1, 5 & 7)

Sovereign Lord, and Father of us all, we hold in high esteem the gifts of composition and verse that you have so graciously given to the likes of William Byrd and those who came before him and who follow on to the present day.

The gift of composition is indeed a gift from God, given to few and experienced by many. May the swell and cadence of both instrument and voice illuminate your divine worship here, as we your humble followers endeavour to enhance the spirituality of our service.

Today as we acknowledge the gifts of William Byrd and others, allow us gracious Lord to feel your spirit within us as the music and words enter our hearts and souls.

May we your followers give credence to these skills as we try in all faithfulness to achieve what William Byrd wished, “that all men would learn to sing”

Gracious Lord, hear our prayer.


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