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Monday, 9 November 2015

Philanthropy in the City - Day 1

Day 1 of the Philanthropy in the City programme at St Stephen Walbrook was the first opportunity to view both the Care of Creation art exhibition by the Society of Catholic Artists and Philanthropy – The City Story which documents how philanthropy has developed over 800 years and how it has contributed to the Square Mile and society.

The Society of Catholic Artists (SCA) is for those engaged as professional or amateurs in the various disciplines of the visual arts. Their membership includes painters, stone and metal sculptors, architects, stained glass artists, silversmiths, potters, iconographers, and more. The SCA has always aimed at raising the standard of religious art and encouraging a bond of spiritual awareness and Christian fellowship among artists, as well as being available to advise prospective patrons and to recommend suitable artists for commissions. Members have been responsible for major artistic work for cathedrals and churches throughout Britain. In this year of Pope Francis’ encyclical, ‘Care of Creation’ and respecting the spirituality of the venue, for this exhibition they are using the Pope’s message as a theme.

The City has a proud tradition of philanthropy dating back to the Middle Ages, led by Livery Companies and the Mayorality, as is brilliantly illustrated in the exhibition Philanthropy - The City Story. Philanthropy is one of London's hidden stories. The roles of business and government as channels for entrepreneurial effort are well known. But this exhibition explores philanthropy as an alternative catalyst of growth and change. The City, including almshouses, hospitals, open spaces, orphanages, the first public flushing loos, the Royal Exchange and even London Bridge, owes much to the great philanthropists of the Square Mile.

Also in today's programme was the next in our current Discover & explore service series with the Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields.. As part of the Philanthropy in the City programme we explored the theme of Charity. The service included the reading of both Holy Thursday poems by William Blake and John Tavener's setting of Blake's The Lamb.

Tomorrow at 6.30pm, Jin Chin (Chair, Samaritans London Central), David Barclay (Church Credit Champions Network), Mark Choonara (The Passage) and Revd Bertrand Oliver (All Hallows by the Tower) will share opportunities for volunteering with Samaritans, Home for Good and as a Church Credit Champion.

On Wednesday at 6.00pm we will host a service to review and give thanks to God for the year in office of Alderman Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor of London including the Lord Mayor’s Appeal (Scope and Mencap) and overseas business visits. The service will reflect the theme of the Lord Mayor’s year in office: Creating Wealth, Giving Time, Supporting People.

Next Monday at 1.10pm will see the third in our Discover & explore series when Revd Sally Muggeridge and the Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields will lead us in reflecting on the theme of Hope. Finally, on Tuesday 17th November at 6.30pm, we will host the launch of the Sophia Hubs Network. Hear about hubs in Redbridge and Sophiatown and find out about ways of investing in start-ups and businesses that bring community benefit.


John Tavener - The Lamb.

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