December 2012 letter

The Gift of Music

 

First a note about Confirmation.  Classes will start in January, on Monday evenings from 6.30pm to 7.30 pm, beginning on Jan 14th and continuing for 5 weeks, venue to be announced.  The confirmation itself will I hope take place in one of our own local churches shortly after Easter.  If I don’t already have your details and you would like to be confirmed, please let me know.

 

Psalm 92, which in many Bible’s is subtitled ‘A Song for the Sabbath Day’ begins, ‘It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;  2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,  3 to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.’  As the ancient song suggests, music has been part of worship from the very earliest times, and over the Christmas season it is likely that almost all of us will enjoy the traditional carols of the season in one way or another.

 

These days we associate Church music particularly with the organ, but our predecessors would have accompanied their church singing with a variety of instruments, relying on whatever talents existed among the congregation, so that the same fiddler who played for the dance on Saturday night would play for the hymns on Sunday morning.

 

Part of the challenge in keeping our churches as living, welcoming places of worship is finding people to offer their musical talents on a Sunday morning, either on a professional or a voluntary basis.  Although we are very blessed with the organists we have, with services at up to seven churches some Sundays, and with having lost the services of some very much valued voluntary organists over the last eighteen months, we are sometimes struggling to find enough people to play, particularly on special days when every village wants its own service.

 

Contrary to what you might believe, I’m told that playing an organ is not that daunting a task for a competent pianist.  Some of our smaller organs can be played without the use of pedals, and Nigel Alcock, our organist and musical director at Woodbury church would be delighted to provide any necessary help or training for anyone who wanted to give it a go.  Our churches are open every day if you would like to practice. 

 

Moreover, organ music is not the only way to praise God!  We already have some people who are able to play guitar or other instruments at less formal services, and we would love to have more.  Some of the churches also have a keyboard or a piano that could be used.  Young or old, whether you can offer regular help, perhaps once a month, or would simply be prepared to be called on now and again (always with plenty of notice to give you the opportunity to practice), your help would be enormously appreciated. 

 

If you do play the piano or another instrument, give it some thought as to whether this might be a way in which you could use and broaden your talents; and if you don’t play yourself, perhaps you could encourage someone else you know to offer their help.  One of the things we are discovering more and more is how much richer our church life becomes when everyone takes an active part.  Perhaps this might be yours?

 

Rev’d Karen Spray                 01392 877400             church@revdkaren.org.uk


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