Saturday 12th 2020 was the date for the annual historic churches bike ride, a national event. A team from our churches took part in the Hampshire event and visited 10 churches. The team were Andy, Jacob, Jen, Jonathan and Mike, and we visited 10 churches – Netley Marsh, Copythorne, Minstead, Emery Down, Lyndhurst, Marchwood, Eling, Testwood, Nursling & Rownhams. Our route was 34 miles and with stops took us just over 6 hours. We were blessed with perfect weather, and some great insights into other churches in our area. Most churches were closed, but we did visit the grave of Sherlock Holmes author Conan Doyle in Minstead – with a ‘pipe on the gravestone; Lyndhurst we met Rev David Potterton the vicar who gave us a brief look inside this amazing church. Our route home through the forest to Marchwood gave us great views towards Toot Hill, and in Totton before visiting Testwood church we had an ice cream eating competition – Jacob, Jonathan & Mike 2 each, Andy and Jen 1 each – well they do come in packs of 4 from Asda! And so the final leg to Nursling church where we met John Sofrin, and then onto Rownhams to end a great time together. Jonathan and Jacob enjoyed the ice cream and the cycling. Andy enjoyed riding in the beautiful countryside we have locally on a lovely day with great company, also seeing inside the amazing Lyndhurst church for the first time and seeing the vicar David who we will see again at a youth day soon.
Open air service was held in the grounds of Rownhams School. It was attended by about 70 people altogether and was about Gods Creation and featured The Famous puppets from St Johns and music by Mike,Amanda,Andre and Simon.
On Saturday 7th December St. Johns hosted its first brass band and choir concert. With some furniture moving we were able to squeeze a 30 piece band and 30 piece choir into the church, and the 80+ audience were treated to a veritable ‘feast’ of music to help prepare for Christmas. The City of Southampton (Albion) band started with a number of brass band favorites including ‘Come follow the band’ & ’76 trombones’.
Then the Shepperd Singers sang songs including ‘Any dream will do’ . Christmas carols were not forgotten and we joined in ‘rousing’ renditions of ‘While shepherds watched’ and ‘Hark the Herald’ along with band and choir items such as ‘Sleigh ride’ and John Rutters ‘Christmas Lullaby’. It was wonderful to hear the band and choir ‘weaving’ melodies together in ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ by Gordon Langford.
The band also featured solo playing with ‘Bring him home’, and ‘Where is love’ – again ‘magical’ performances.Fears of it being too loud in the church were unfounded, and our church had the perfect acoustic to appreciate the skill and expertise of both band and choir. We hope to repeat it in the future.Next year is the 100th anniversary of the band and you can see them at the Turner Sims 19th September 2020
Jim Stanley-Smith’s 90th Birthday Celebration with over 50 celebrating A big thanks to all those that contributed cakes
Many thanks to all those who came to the concert for Africa last Saturday (24/11/18). Special thanks to Julian Williams and Jonathan Klein for a wonderful evenings music, and to all those who contributed to over £900 we can now send to our partners at the Kimbilio Childrens Project