Concerts at The Parish Church of St Mary & St Eanswythe

Music on a Sunday Afternoon presented by

Bayle Music in Association with Canterbury Music Club

Honorary President Rev. Dr. John Walker

Honorary Patron Mark Simpson

A Short History of Bayle Music

Our Sunday Eucharist and daily Morning Prayer will be broadcast on our Facebook Page and on our YouTube page at ‘St Eanswythe’ For links to these sites and further information please see our church website

During the current lockdown the church WILL BE OPEN DAILY for SILENT PRAYER ONLY at the following times 11 am – 1 pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Please note that Social Distancing and Hand Sanitising must be observed.


The Bayle, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1SW United Kingdom

A warm welcome awaits you in the beautiful space that is St Eanswythe’s Church, The Bayle, Folkestone CT201SW (consecrated 1138) Its magnificent acoustic together with the tranquil surrounds of the church, is very special, as so too are the artists appearing in this series. An exciting partnership is launched in this series between Bayle Music with Folkestone Early Music and Folkestone New Music offering performance of compositions from the seventeenth to twenty first centuries.

Welcome to Bayle Music!

Sounds Folkestone Website

Bayle Music Kindly Sponsored by
Partnership Working Team (Folkestone)

With government restrictions, institutional indecision and changing policies across the board, we propose an alternative series of recitals following similar engagements by professional organisations similarly struggling to survive e.g. Glyndebourne opera.

In partnership with Canterbury Music Club, we will welcome musicians to perform live (appropriately socially distanced) in St Eanswythe's church Folkestone with its magnificent acoustic and beautiful backdrop - and possibly with a small socially distanced audience present in the church depending on current advice from church authorities. In a similar partnership, RVP video company will stream each recital live from the church using a dedicated Canterbury Music Club YouTube channel.  There will be up to five cameras used with a mixing desk offering a multi-dimensional view of the performance together with high-end sound recording equipment ensuring a high quality transmission, which you will be able to see and listen to in the comfort of your home. As an insurance against internet problems during the live broadcast, each recital will be HD recorded for later viewing/ listening. Full programme details are available online at the Canterbury Music Club website We are extremely grateful to Fr John Walker, parish priest at St Mary & St Eanswythe and the churchwardens for their support in enabling this initiative to become a reality. We are inviting Bayle Music supporters to consider purchasing a season ticket for all four of these terrific concerts, featuring old friends and new, so that we have an assured income to pay our share of the expenses. As the Bayle Music account is not currently set up for electronic transfers, we are asking you to send a cheque payable to ‘Bayle Music’ for £40 – plus a donation if you feel able – to: Ian Gordon 16 Bayle Court The Parade Folkestone CT20 1SN OR in an envelope clearly marked ‘Ian Gordon, Bayle Music’ in the secure Donations Box in church which is open 11 am – 1 pm each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Receipts can be issued if requested. If you would be interested in attending in person, up to the socially-distanced limit depending on restrictions then in operation, you will need to book your place each time by contacting Ian Gordon telephone at 01303 257 248 or by email at


March, 21st, 3pm

Streamed Live

Soprano Gweneth Ann Rand accompanied by Simon Lepper in a programme of songs entitled

‘An Imperfect Tapestry’.

Gweneth Ann Rand was described in the Observer as having a ‘sumptuous voice [that is] technically brilliant, verbally agile and expressive’, and that concert also with the acclaimed pianist Simon Lepper, was subsequently selected as one of the Guardian’s Top Ten Classical Music Events of 2019.

Gweneth Ann has described this programme as ‘a personal reflection of Black voices and muses, stretching back in time to the Black Venus, who inspired the poetry of Baudelaire’. The Black Venus refers to the Haitian-born actress and dancer who was a muse to Charles Baudelaire, whose poetry was so memorably set by Claude Debussy. Alongside some of these Debussy songs, they perform Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses (‘Madagascan Songs’) which set poems by Evariste-Désiré de Parny. These poems were ostensibly translations of Madagascan song lyrics, but were more likely original poems written during de Parny’s travels on the island in the 1780s.

As well as traditional songs, the programme features works by Harry Sever, Adolphus Hailstork and Errolyn Wallen, all acclaimed contemporary songwriters. Harry Sever is a conductor and pianist as well as a composer, whose song ‘Tears’ sets the American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. American composer Adolphus Hailstork’s ‘Decisions’ is from his 1992 cycle Songs of Love and Justice, a setting of Martin Luther King Jr. Errollyn Wallen has been described by The Observer as the ‘renaissance woman of contemporary British music’ and in her ‘Peace on Earth’ she sets her own words.

Gweneth and Simon at a recent concert.

If you have not already subscribed to the current season and want to see this concert online either live or for 30 days afterwards, please contact Ian Gordon by email – or by telephone 01303 275 248.


Concert in church



2 March 21st

An Imperfect Tapestry

Gweneth Ann Rand soprano, Simon Lepper piano. Gweneth Ann Rand was described in The Observer as having a ‘sumptuous voice [that is] technically brilliant, verbally agile and expressive’, and that concert, also with the acclaimed pianist Simon Lepper, was subsequently selected as one of The Guardian’s Top Ten Classical Music Events of 2019.


April 25th

Sacconi Quartet and Salomé Quartet Enescu Octet in C major op.7 I Mendelssohn Octet in Eb major


June 20th

Katherine Bryer oboe and strings. Mozart Oboe Quartet in F K.370

Christian worship has been offered on or near this site since 630 AD when Eadbald, King of Kent, built a convent and church for his daughter Eanswythe - believed to be the first religious house with an abbess in the country. His father, King Ethelbert, had welcomed St Augustine and his monks in 597.  Eanswythe died in about 640 AD and was made a saint soon after. Her relics became a focus of pilgrimage and in 1138 were brought into the present church (the fourth to occupy this site) on 12 September - the date we still keep as our Patronal Festival.
In the 11th century the Priory was established but was suppressed like almost all the others, by Henry VIII in 1534 and the church entered a long period of neglect and decline.
Canon Matthew Woodward, vicar from 1851 to 1898, transformed it into the beautiful church you see today, with stained glass, murals and mosaics of the highest quality.

St Eanswythe

The Parish Church of St Mary & St Eanswythe

  St Eanswythe's relics were re-discovered in 1885 during work in the Chancel and are now kept in niche behind a brass grill in the north wall of Sanctuary of the High Altar, close by Woodward's memorial brass plate. They provide an inspiring link with the far-off days of Pope Gregory and St Augustine and the return of Christianity to Britain 300 years after the Roman occupation ended.

On 6 March in the presence of the Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, Rev. Darren Miller Archdeacon of Ashford, Rev Dr John Walker, parish priest, the Mayor of Folkestone and a packed church Dr Andrew Richardson of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust announced that the detailed investigation of the relics carried out in January 2020 proved conclusively that they were the relics of St Eanswythe herself.

St Eanswythe

Crowthers of Canterbury (Wind Instruments)

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