Music, reception and talk

A Celebration of Grinling Gibbons

As the celebrations of the Tercentenary for Grinling Gibbons come to a close, The Rag – Army & Navy Club  – and the Grinling Gibbons Society are excited to invite you to celebrate his life and legacy at St James’s Church – Piccadilly, where some of Gibbons’ most magnificent carving in wood and stone can be seen. As part of this special event programme, a Choral Evensong will take place followed by a Drinks Reception and Talk by Master Carver Anthony Webb. 


18.00 – 18.45 | Choral Evensong
18.45 – 19.15 | Drinks Reception
19.15 – 20.15 | Talk by Master Carver Tony Webb


Evensong according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer is a service that Grinling Gibbons would have been familiar with. He arrived in England in 1667, at a time when the Church of England was still settling its liturgy, its practices and the decoration of its church buildings.  At St James’s Piccadilly, the interior is stately but plain, with clear glass windows, as befits a Protestant sensibility. But the two areas of the church most richly adorned with Gibbons’ work express the 17th-century settlement of the Church of England’s two sacraments: the baptismal font and the eucharistic altar.  Gibbons, together with Wren, defined this new religious sensibility in the architecture and art they made.

To mark the tercentenary of Gibbons’ death, Evensong will be sung using 16th and 17th-century music familiar at the time: responses and canticles by Smith of Durham (1603-45) and Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625). The anthem is a setting of The Lamb by William Blake, who was baptised at St James’s in 1757.

The GGS is pleased to be funding the music for this special Evensong. Your attendance at this event will help support this.


A drinks reception with wine supplied by the Army and Navy Club will follow Evensong. This will be a fantastic chance to gather together (GGS members, supporters and guests) at the culmination of Gibbons Tercentenary year.


The reredos at St James’s Church is considered to be one of the finest works by the world-famous wood carver, Grinling Gibbons. Join former Master Carver at St Paul’s Cathedral and current President of the Master Carver Association, Anthony Webb, for a special talk on his life’s work as a Gibbons carver. It will be an opportunity for members to get to know more about Anthony, his career as a Master Carver and his work after retirement.


Tickets are available through the Army & Navy Club. Details of the event via this link A Celebration of Grinling Gibbons – The Rag – Army and Navy Club.