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Evensongs

Saskatchewan
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Evensongs

Very much interested in attending an Evensong at St. Martins in the Field, St . Pauls or Westminster Abbey. My question is really about WMA.. how early must one arrive to attend the 5pm concert and do you pay the entry fee, even thought you are not touring the Church, etc, as we have been before. Any advice to make entry to an Evensong would be appreciated. Thanks

Ambler, Pennsylvania
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1. Re: Evensongs

Hi: From my experience, it looks as if you should arrive at Westminster Abbey 20-30 minutes before the scheduled service. If you would like to sit in the Quire, go to the aisle to the left of center... you will stand before an iron gate on the graves of musicians and other notables. The vergers open the gate at approx. 15 min. before. They might invite you to sit in the stalls, but the folding seats are fine, too. I like to see some of the singers and the conductor, so I sit left of center.

St. Paul's is also very nice for Evensong. Other churches in The City offer Evensong on different nights of the week. You can check http://www.cityevents.org.uk/ for a schedule.

In any case, always check the web site to be sure of time. Sometimes, another event will preclude normally scheduled services.

You never need to pay admission to a church service, although an offering is accepted.

Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: Evensongs

I was in Westminster Abbey on Friday,and the verger gave us the same information as Foslo.

Arrive through the West door, about 30 minutes beforehand, and then sit in the nave.

But, do yourself a favour and get there a few hours before take the 1.30pm verger tour. I'm an old cynic, but it was brilliant!

Redlands, California
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3. Re: Evensongs

Can anyone confirm that those who go on a Vergers' Tour are offered choice seats?

The advantage to getting there a bit ahead of time is just getting a spot with a better view of the choir. It IS expected that you stay for the entire service, but that's not a chore!

Saskatchewan
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519 posts
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4. Re: Evensongs

Thanks for the quick reply everyone. Is the West Entrance NOT the main entrance that tourists would normally enter to tour the Abbey or is it a different one? I have been several years ago for the tour, and the main entrance is the only one I can remember. Thanks again...

Ambler, Pennsylvania
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5. Re: Evensongs

Generally, you will use the entrance near the gift shop. I suppose that's the West entrance. After a certain time, the verger standing outside may tell you the Abbey is closed for tours, so you just tell him or her that you wish to attend Evensong. You can then enter without a problem.

Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: Evensongs

If attending the verger tour, they will put your name on a priority list for that evenings service, but it isn't garranteed.

Oregon
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590 posts
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7. Re: Evensongs

St. Paul's has a lovely evensong service. My husband and I enjoyed it more than Westminster Abbey, but that's really a personal preference for St.Paul's as a location. I'm glad I've done both.

This may have changed, but one thing we were disappointed by the first time we went to St. Paul's was that there was no warning or discussion or signage indicating that only a certain number would be allowed into the choir area seating and there didn't seem to be a queue or an indication of where a queue should start (which rather astonished us) and no one available to ask (we looked). When the service was announced as beginning, everyone who had gathered around waiting rushed to the doors with no regard for those who had been there first. Many of those in the back of the line were disappointed to discover they would not be allowed in, although they had been there quite early. There were chairs set up for those who could not be seated inside and it was still a lovely service even if you weren't in the choir area. The acoustics are still quite wonderful, and after sitting in both places, we actually liked sitting out in the more open area more. We arrived about 30 minutes prior to the service and there were already many people there (not a large crowd though), but it could vary with the time of year and maybe even the weather.

Texas
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8. Re: Evensongs

I attended Evensong at Westminster some years back. We took the wonderful & highly recommended Verger tour & were asked if we planned to attend Evensong. We did. The Verger saw us in line when we returned and motioned for us to move to the front of the line, saying, "Ladies, welcome back, I have your seats."

We sat in the Quire, across from the boys choir. The Evensong is simple and beautiful. It is one of my best memories from London.

Kingston-upon-Hull...
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9. Re: Evensongs

It might be of interest to some, that you can watch evensong live from the Abbey at this very moment (18:00 on 17th Sep 2010) via this link:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11313672

Where The Pope is visiting evensong himself!

Detroit, Michigan
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10. Re: Evensongs

I'll bet the pope got priority seating. : )

When we've gone to evensong at St. Paul's, before the service, we sat in the first row of seats and that is where they escorted us into the quire prior to the service.