The Revd Julian Francis has been vicar of St. Georges since March 2011. Julian began his ministry as a curate in South Wimbledon. He came to us from Queen’s having successfully set up a new Church of England theological learning project related to Black Ministries and Leadership in the church. Before that he was Team Rector of the Caludon Team of five churches that served urban and suburban areas on the eastern side of the city of Coventry. Julian is married to Jane and they have four children.
The roll of churchwarden is a privilege and carries quite a lot of responsibility but is also very rewarding and enjoyable. He or she is a Bishop’s officer and is admitted to their office usually by the Archdeacon. It is usual for there to be at least two wardens in a parish.
At St George’s we are well blessed with members who diligently look after many different aspects such as finance, fabric and care of the building, preparation for services, social events, cleaning, flower arranging and many other duties which are of great help.
A warden does need to be at the 10.30am service most Sundays (but obviously not every one throughout the year) and for special festivals. It is often difficult to fully take part because of distractions and for a quiet service the 8.00am is a very refreshing one to go to.
Director of Music
Phil Ypres Smith studied singing and organ at the Birmingham School of Music. During this time he worked closely with the Opera School. His Musical Direction included ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Albert Herring’, ‘Alcina’ (directed from the harpsichord at the Bath Georgian Festival), and the world premier of Giles Swayne’s ‘Le Nozze de Cherubino’. He was also involved in preparations for the first performances of Derek Bourgeois’ ‘Kubla Khan’ under the late Sir Charles Groves. Phil currently lives and works in Birmingham and is an experienced singing teacher and vocal coach. He has sung and accompanied for radio and has led many musical and choral groups throughout the country. He has presented numerous lecture-recitals on subjects ranging from the history of Anglican church music to Italian opera. He wrote and presented a programme for the BBC World Service taking a lighthearted look at the mysterious world of liturgical organ improvisation. Alongside an extensive teaching practice, Phil is currently artistic director of Mercian Opera and since 2003, Director of Music at St George’s Church Edgbaston. He has also composed a number of song cycles and choral works, as well as instrumental pieces and incidental music.