On Wednesday 2nd September, Ian Anderson - founder member of prog-rock band Jethro Tull - will come to St Bartholomew’s Church in Lower Basildon, near Pangbourne, to visit a memorial of the band’s namesake, who is buried at the church.

18th century agriculturalist Jethro Tull is celebrated as the ‘father of modern farming’, and is famous for perfecting the horse drawn seed drill in 1701. Tull is the subject of Ian Anderson’s new project, ‘Jethro Tull: A Rock Opera’, which features songs from the band’s back catalogue, reimagining the agriculturist’s life in the near future.

St Bartholomew’s Church is cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity protecting historic churches at risk.

Crispin Truman, Chief Executive of The Churches Conservation Trust, explains:
‘Each of the 347 churches that The Churches Conservation Trust cares for has their own story to tell. I’m delighted to welcome Ian Anderson to 700 year old St Bartholomew’s where Jethro Tull - who revolutionised modern agriculture - is commemorated. Personally I’m also a bit of a fan of ‘the Tull’ so can’t wait to share this and other stories with Ian!’
Volunteer with The Churches Conservation Trust, Zoe Pike, is currently developing a scheme of interpretation for St Bartholomew’s which will allow visitors to learn more about Tull’s life and his connections with the church and local area. Additional volunteer support is needed in researching, marketing and planning this project. Anyone interested should contact Ed McGregor, The CCT’s Volunteering Officer emcgregor@thecct.org.uk

St Bartholomew’s is open to visitors daily between 9am and 5pm. It is a venue for regular community events, including the upcoming Harvest Evensong and Hog Roast on Sunday 4th October at 6pm.

‘Jethro Tull – The Rock Opera’
Full Dates are:

8th Basingstoke Anvil 01256 844244
10th London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire 0844 477 2000
11th Birmingham Symphony Hall 0121 345 0493
12th York Barbican 0844 854 2757
13th Gateshead Sage Theatre 0191 443 4661
14th Salford Lowry Theatre 0843 208 6000

Tickets are priced £28 and £32, except in Birmingham £27.50-£32.50. Doors open at 18:30. There is no support. Show starts at 19:30, with a brief interval at 20:30, and ends at 22:00.