The Power of Music

A gospel version of “Silent Night” drifted up into the ceiling of St John’s, illuminated by hand-held candles and fairy lights, and I marvelled at the power of music to create a true Christmas feeling.

The song was being performed by Alison Beck and members of the Soul Sanctuary gospel choir, invited by Tom to guest at our annual carol service. They also led our workshop of singers who had practised for weeks – under Alison’s direction – in Go Tell it 0n the Mountain, our own gospel carol.

The end result – a Christmas combination of readings and music – was a lovely thing to be part of, and judging by the smiles on the faces of the departing congregation, I don’t think I was the only one to feel this.

Music – to inspire, involve, energise – is an important part of my church experience and a few months ago I asked Tom is I could help organise music at St John’s. My aim was to try and ensure we had some sort of live musical experience at every 10 am service rather than relying on pre-recorded CDs (of variable quality!)

I like to think our “band” of Molly, Jason, Ali, Samuel, and the two Daves really lifts the start of our Sunday services and feedback so far has been positive. We would welcome some song suggestions as we do have an increasingly familiar selection. I’d also love to know if there are any other musicians out there – singers or instrument players – who could join us on Sunday morning.

Alison’s gospel sessions will continue in the New Year, and anyone who was inspired by (or think they could improve!) our efforts at last Sunday’s Carol Service would be most welcome. Forthcoming dates are 2nd Thursday of the month, ie 14th January, 11th February, 10th March, 14th April.

Have a tuneful New Year everyone.

JULIAN JOYCE