The highlight of the 2009 George Herbert celebrations in the Parish of Bemerton was a live broadcast from St. Andrew's church, as part of BBC Radio 4's 'Sunday Worship' series. A special service of music, readings and reflection entitled 'Another Music' was devised by Canon Judy Rees and the George Herbert in Bemerton Group.
The service was introduced and led by Canon Judy Rees, with the prayers led by the Rector of Bemerton, Revd. Simon Woodley. Apart from the opening and closing hymns, most of the music was taken from the new George Herbert hymn book, 'Another Music', and was sung with beauty and sensitivity by The Farrant Singers, a local group. Solo violinist Philippe Honoré's accomplished playing of composer Alec Roth's setting of 'The Flower' provided a poignant and memorable start and finish to the broadcast.
Author Ronald Blythe's reflections were typically evocative and eloquent, painting for those listeners unfamiliar with George Herbert a succinct picture of him and explaining why he made, and continues to make such an impact. Local residents Clare Eagle and Vikram Seth both gave gentle and sympathetic readings of Herbert's poems. The organist, who also composed some of the music, was Barry Ferguson.
Although space in the little church was very limited, a congregation of about 20 people also took part in the service, which was produced for the BBC by Stephen Shipley.