Concert for Africa

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

Concert – Never Smile at a Crocodile

This year’s Concert for Africa, ‘Never Smile at a Crocodile‘, proved a resounding success, with a wonderful variety of acts offering something for everyone.  As usual, the programme is given below so that anyone who couldn’t make it can see what they missed!

This year the great delight was the younger performers, Jacob, Lois, Nathaniel and Favour, some of whom had graced the dais last year with one newcomer, Nathaniel.
From the heartfelt rap of Favour to the classical Rondo that was one of Nathaniel’s five short pieces, via Lois’ plangent harp and Jacob’s own arrangement of Hall of Fame, we were all dazzled by their youth and their gifts.
Along with Nathaniel, Jo and Regina, this year’s new star was Xenia Kaspar, a violinist of surpassing talent performing Elgar’s Chanson de Matin and a Scherzo by Brahms.
We would welcome her back to any concert in this church, not least because she was so complimentary about everyone else!
Ian and Sarah with Gossec flute pieces, Ian and Julian wowing us with Monti’s ‘Csardas‘, Sarah and Julian with a Handel flute sonata – without the Shatwells and our amazing multi-talented vicar the concert would have been over very quickly.
Linda O’Hara came back to us to sing ‘I Dreamed a Dream‘ and Claire Thompson made us all laugh with ‘Song of the Crab‘ and ‘Song of the Cats‘.
Speaking of laughter, who could forget ‘The Church Manning Song, 2016‘, a report to the APCM performed by St. John’s Fairy Chorus, with Julian (who else?) as a guest star, for one line only?  Or David’s appearance, clad in a crocodile onesie, to add local colour to Hilary’s version of two Crocodile poems by Roald Dahl?
We owe such a debt to our stalwarts, including the ever-popular Re-Mix Puppet Ensemble; Jim Carter’s ‘Sincere Invitation‘; Carol Plunkett with a most atmospheric short story ‘The Peacock and the Wren‘, and Rownhams’ favourite singer-songwriter, Jonathan Klein, who rounded off his own songs with a version of Elton John’s Crocodile Rock to get the audience in good voice for the Grand Finale.
This was – of course – Never Smile at a Crocodile, introduced in great style by Regina and Jo who sang the first verse in Tamil!
Another showpiece for the talents of our church family and their friends, which at the time of writing had raised almost £1,000 (more still coming in!) for our two good causes – our link diocese of South Rwenzori, Uganda, and the Kimbilio Project in Lubumbashi, DRC, working with street children.
Thank you to every single one of the performers, and accompanists Carol, Ian and Julian;
to Matt Cambridge, for wrestling an unco-operative sound system into submission;
to David, for the IT, posters, programme and presentation;
to John and Peter our hard-working roadies;
to Pat for the wonderful photographs;
to Fiona the candle fairy;
to Sue, Mick, Linda and Neil for the refreshments;
to Neil and Dave for front of house (and provision of the crocodile costume)
and to Hilary and Sue for organising the whole thing (and performing in bits of it)
but especially to Julian, without whom it would have been an entirely different concert!

St John’s Church, Rownhams gains first Eco Church Silver Award in Winchester Diocese!

On Sunday 17th September, UK A Rocha Conservation Director, Andy Lester, presented the Silver Award to St Johns Church, Rownhams congregation in a special Celebration service. A small steering group have worked hard with the Vicar, the Reverend Julian Williams’ backing, to show that we as a congregation are doing what we can to look after Gods earth, just a little bit more

The Ichthian young people’s group performed a powerful drama depicting a forest fire and unhelpful animals that mocked a humming bird which was trying to extinguish the fire one drop of water at a time.

The message echoed throughout the service was that every action counts, in everyone doing what little we can, to look after God’s earth.

The congregation were given an acorn to hold as Andy Lester asked us to think what a hard journey it is for one to grow into an oak tree: only 1 in 10,000 grows to maturity and it takes 50 years before it produces acorns! He encouraged us to think how we could take the opportunity to flourish by doing one more thing as we ‘Go for Gold’.


To move from Bronze (gained last year) to Silver, we have grown food in the churchyard allotment with produce going to Basics Bank, promoted Eco Church, committed to pray for an A Rocha project, celebrated Earth Hour and held a sale of unwanted Christmas presents.

‘Going for Gold’ is a huge challenge. We have produced an Individual Lifestyle Eco Survey, asking the congregation to take part so we can all see how we’re doing and perhaps do 1 or 2 more actions to live more sustainably in our damaged and fragile world. This is for the sake of future generations and for those many people in the world who are suffering dreadfully from the effects of climate change. (The link is for those church members who haven’t done it yet and would like to).

After a wonderful service, led by Liz Roles, who recently completed her BCM course for leading services, we enjoyed some delicious cake, followed by a Bring and Share lunch.