The 160th Boat Race between mens crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge is on Sunday 6th April. From a prime position next to the River Thames, All Saints Fulham Church has always had a great view of the race. This year, there will be a special nautical themed Choral Evensong at 4pm.
The Choir will sing They that go down to the sea in ships by English composer Herbert Whitton Sumsion CBE (1899-1995). The words are taken from Psalm 107: 23-30.
Sumison is known for his position as Organist at Gloucester Cathedral. He came into the post aged just 29 after the sudden death of Sir Herbert Brewer. He stayed was there for nearly 40 years. During this time at Gloucester, he oversaw 11 Three Choirs Festivals. Sumison composed for organ and choir. He also wrote chamber and orchestral pieces.
This particular Sumison anthem They that go down to the sea in ships, was composed in 1979. The piece is dedicated to Dennis Kiddy and the Choir of Repton Preparatory School.
They that go down to the sea in ships:
and occupy their business in great waters;
These men see the works of the Lord:
and his wonders in the deep.
For at his word the stormy wind ariseth:
which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They are carried up to the heaven,
and down again to the deep:
their soul melteth away because of the trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man;
and are at their wits’ end.
So when they cry unto the Lord in their trouble:
He delivereth them out of their distress.
For he maketh the storm to cease:
so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they are at rest:
and so he bringeth them unto the haven where they would be.
This music is sung by the Choir of Ely Cathedral.