Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Music, Worship and the Holy Spirit

The Autumn 2018 newsletter for ReSource - http://www.resource-arm.net/ has come out, and Roger has written an article!  Here it is:


As a teenager, I played the organ for midweek sung Evensong.  I learnt how to play the 'Mag', 'Nunc', creed, versicles, responses, and many more Anglican peculiarities but it was all very superficial. Then someone told me about the need for a personal relationship with God through Jesus, by turning to him and inviting him into my life. When that happened, I experienced and appreciated a whole new expression of church music, including 'choruses' (not to be confused, as I later learnt, with worship songs)!

In my first encounter with evangelical Anglicanism, tempered with mild charismatic renewal, I saw the role that music could play in worship. I also began to study the New Testament and soon discovered that so much of present-day church in the west compares poorly to the church of the Acts of the Apostles. So, a passion for renewal was birthed within me, and the desire to encourage Holy Spirit renewal was at the root of the call in 1985 to full-time ministry and became the aim and heart of Christian Music Ministries.

For the past 40 years I have written musicals, psalms, hymns and songs, which have been a resource and teaching-tool, creating the environment for churches and individuals to encounter the living God. Music enables us to teach Bible facts and at the same time experience the presence of God. It’s not quite an original quote, but 'Music reaches the parts nothing else can reach'.

When the Spirit moves God’s people usually sing! This seems to be the pattern in the revivals of Wesley, the crusades of Billy Graham, right through to the growth and explosion of worship material through the charismatic renewal of the 60s-90s. There are excesses and failures in all this, where worship music has become a large industry and sometimes an end in itself, thereby blunting the original aim. Nevertheless, music, and other creative arts such as dance, drama, poetry, painting etc remain vehicles for expression of the incarnational life of the Spirit.

Living things always evolve, usually with change and decay, so renewal must always constantly be renewed. The hymns and forms of the past have a vital role in preserving and evaluating our heritage, but some things need to be laid aside, whilst we assess the new expressions. Wesley and others wrote great hymns, some of which serve us well today, but there are also many that have validly been confined to posterity. And maybe more should be! 'Here today and gone tomorrow' is not necessarily a negative epitaph, for the main consideration should be "What is the Spirit saying to the church?", the realisation of which demands an ongoing exposure to the Spirit.

St Paul’s injunction to "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18) precedes the instruction "speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs", the latter of which specifically requires an ongoing life in the Spirit, an intimacy with God that will most likely be fluid and informal.

Christian music is essentially functional rather than aesthetic or educational, and certainly must not be there in preservation of a specific culture or tradition! Whether it be Handel or Hillsong, Rutter or Rend Collective, good Christian music will be that which facilitates a two-way communication, revitalising the relationship between believers and the Lord. When Jesus spoke to a woman at a well he revealed a profound truth: "God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Church without music is almost unimaginable, but church music without the power of the Spirit is bound for failure. However, when Spirit and Truth combine, we have a church that perpetuates renewal and resource, a foretaste of heaven itself!

Roger Jones

Friday, 12 October 2018

Roger's October eNews

Hi Folks

Sorry I’m late with my October news. It’s been very hectic and productive at CMM recently. Annie has done lots of Musical in Day events (see previous blog post), Helen has just led a similar day and led worship at a conference, and I’ve recently done lots of individual gigs as well as the regular “Heart & Soul” shows. It’s wonderful to have had so many opportunities. Just look at our DIARY to see what’s gone and what’s coming up!

Next weekend (20-21 Oct) CMM are in two places:
  • ROCK - Pulborough, Sussex - Roger and team 
  • JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER – Welshpool - Annie and team 

For further details contact the CMM 0ffice (01527 576440 or office@cmm.org.uk)

Looking ahead to Christmas, we have many things to share:

Do see our full colour Summer Newsletter for details of upcoming events, diary, publications, etc, well into 2019.

HEART & SOUL (6-8pm every Wednesday on South Birmingham Radio) is going well and we’ve now done over 25 programmes! We still meet folk who either haven’t got around to listening to it yet, or think it doesn’t reach their area. It’s internet based (not FM radio) so you can get it anywhere via PC, Smartphone, etc. We really do need your support and encouragement, so do tune in: https://southbirminghamradio.uk/

- or on an “app” like Simple Radio .

Bless you all!

Roger Jones

Friday, 5 October 2018

Annie's busy month

It's time for a bit of a love-in for our Annie.  She has had an incredibly busy month!  First of all she spent Saturday 15th September training the choir at Weston-super-Mare for their performance of Wildfire with Roger on the Sunday.  Then she travelled to Eccleshall in Staffordshire to lead a Wildfire-in-a-day event at Holy Trinity Church on the 23rd.  Then on the 29th she was at Cricklade United Church for Jairus' Daughter-in-a-day.  What a busy few weeks.  She's looking forward to having a weekend off!

Anyway, on her travels she has had a great time and received some wonderful feedback:

"Thank you for guiding us through “Wild Fire” & for your patients (sic). I really enjoyed taking part & it was great fellowship." (Chris from the Eccleshall event)

"We had a great day again with Annie on Sunday, this time preparing and performing Roger's 'Wildfire'! We do appreciate Annie and the rest of the talented team travelling to Eccleshall to teach, guide and support us! Please pass on our thanks again to everyone. I have spoken to quite a few people since Sunday: the feedback from participants and from those who came to see the performance in the evening has been very positive. What a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day! It always amazes me how we manage to put on a very respectable performance after only a few hours learning the musical (a testament to Annie's skills and patience!). Audience members were so impressed!" (Hazel, Eccleshall)
"Just a quick note to thank you for the super day which you led here in Cricklade last Saturday. The production of Jairus Daughter was much enjoyed by the audience and the choir. It is always a pleasure to have you and the other members of CMM with us for a day such as this. It has become a highlight of our Church year." (Mary in Cricklade)

Annie in action at Cricklade

As with all of our musicals in a day, huge thanks go to the CMM associates for coming along and singing or playing instruments.  This time a particular thanks goes to Jonathan Chappell who was at both Eccleshall and Cricklade, and will be travelling to Bingham with Helen this weekend!

Friday, 28 September 2018

Celebrating a 60 year friendship

On Sunday, Roger is leading a special service at Grenfell Baptist Church in North-East Birmingham to celebrate 60 years of friendship with Phil Pattison.  Helen asked Roger a few questions about it:

How did you first meet Phil?

Phil Pattison and I were at junior school together.  We were in the fourth year juniors together, ten years old, and we developed a friendship because we both supported the Blues in football.  I even remember having a little fight with him on the corner of Repton Road!  We went all the way through senior school together - Alston Boys, often in the same class often sitting by one another.  At age 16 he went off to do an apprenticeship with work and I went off to do A Levels, so we lost touch.

How did you meet again?

I met a crowd of Christians at sixth form and became a Christian. It was either first or second year I was a Christian we went carol singing evangelistically with Grenfell Baptist.  We prayed, "Lord, which block of flats shall we go and do?"  You see, blocks of flats were warm and had good acoustics!  People used to answer their doo
rs with money and we would surprise them saying we didn't want money, but invite them to church on Sunday and for Christmas.  Lo and behold one of the flats was answered by Phil.  He said to me that he wouldn't normally have answered the door and left it to his parents, but this time he opened it and we got chatting.  I invited him to church and he said yes, but as it happened he couldn't come that Sunday  He did come at Christmas and got such a welcome he stuck at it, joined the youth group, made a commitment to the Lord and was baptised.

I guess then you were in the same young people's group?

It's not what it looks like!  Roger and Mary with Phil and Jane
Yes.  He met Jane through that and got married before me and Mary.  I played for his wedding (so he tells me) and then he was best man at our wedding.  We kept in touch ever since - there was a bit of a gap when we moved on to different churches, and when we got in touch again he'd become an Anglican and so had I!  Eventually he became church warden.  It's been wonderful to have that friendship.  120 years - 60 years each!

Tell me a bit about Sunday morning.

On Sunday we're going to take the service back at our old church - Grenfell Baptist Church.  It's very small now in a mostly Muslim area - a very difficult place to do church, and a few of our friends are coming.  Some we knew have died, and the church has shrunk but we're looking forward to it.  I'm preaching and Phil is leading.  The minister we both knew from all those years ago, Edwin Boddington, is going to be there.  I taught his son the organ!  We both left when he was there for different reasons, but effectively he released us and we're going to feature that on Sunday.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The intern's tale part 1 - September 2018

This month we welcome Gemma into the office as our new intern.  We're really excited to be working with her.  In her first blog she introduces herself:

Hiya folks, my name is Gemma Collins and I am excited to say that I am going to be working with the amazing CMM this upcoming year. As well as working in the office I'll be going to both CMM choirs and assisting where needed, and also doing volunteer work in 2 different Primary Schools to gain some more experience with how they run things as well to keep me busy :D

I am originally from Barrow-in-Furness and for those who don’t know where that is, it’s a small town in the nook and cranny of Cumbria/Lake District…Very, very different from living here…although interestingly I am the only one out of my entire family that is a true original Burrovian (and yes, that’s how us northerners pronounce it ha-ha)!

My first encounter with CMM was at a time that I can’t remember. Roger and the team have known me since I was around 3 or 4…Over the years my family and I have been involved with countless CMM events, either in Cumbria, Birmingham or wherever they have been around the country. I think I have done all but 2 or 3 of Roger’s musicals, and most of them at least twice each. For those who know me won’t believe this, I used to extremely shy about playing my flute or singing on my own when I started. Although with help from Roger, Annie and Helen over many years I was able to grow in confidence and even learnt how to improvise. Through these years I found that music was my passion, I wanted to pursue it and help other people like they have helped me.

I went on to study music at The University of Huddersfield, I loved every minute of it, and after lots of hard work and all-nighters, I graduated from University with a 2:1 in July this year! :D

I found that before I carried on with education that I wanted to learn more from CMM; how they organise events, how it works form a business point of view, I hope to learn about the running of choirs, the behind the scenes work, to be able to grow my confidence in speaking in-front of a crowd and to arrange music for gigs. 

I am very much looking forward to this year, I have been here less than a week and I already have lots of tasks to keep me out of mischief for a little while haha…

After this year I would like to train as a Primary School Teacher in a Specialist Needs School, with the aim of using my music to help them learn and grow, although I would also like to start my own choir in the future with peripatetic teaching on the side.

Working with CMM is going to be fantastic, they are my family and I am so grateful to God that this has happened, and I get to spend quality time with fantastic people.
This is going to help towards next steps and my future!
I am very excited!!! XD xxx

Friday, 7 September 2018

Roger's September eNews

Hi Everyone – Christmas may seem a little way off, but choir trainers, ministers, organists, etc, will already be working on the seasonal programme. So, a reminder of CMM’s Christmas musicals: 


I passionately believe in the value and purpose of these works to encourage, reach and teach, and they are all available from our CMM site, (music books, recordings, etc) as well as on Kindle, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, etc.

Do see our full colour Summer Newsletter for details of upcoming events, diary, publications, etc, well into 2019.

There is also our CMM EVENTS FACEBOOK page, which lists our activities and encourages you to comment, etc.

This month we have a number of exciting things in our Diary:
Sidholme Hotel, Sidmouth, East Devon (Roger & team)
Ring 01395 515104 – there may still be places left!
15-16 we WILDFIRE – Weston-super-Mare (Annie & Roger) 

23 Sun WILDFIRE – Eccleshall (Annie) 

29 Sat JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER - Cricklade United Church (Annie) 

30 Sun Roger preaching at Grenfell Baptist, Ward End 1030
with Phil Pattison – this is the 60th Anniversary of Roger & Phil’s friendship!

Our HEART & SOUL radio programme (6-8pm every Wednesday on South Birmingham Radio) is going really well. We hope you listen to it live, but you can catch-up on Sound Cloud or via the CMM Blog. We play lots of varied Christian music and welcome a whole array guests with amazing stories.
Those using iPhones, Smartphones, etc, can also use the Simple Radio app.

Bless you all! 

Roger interviewing Paul Nash at Heart & Soul

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

What must I do to be saved?

The article below comes from a leaflet that accompanies the musical Jail Break.  At the end of the performance this is ideal to give out to people enquiring about how to become a Christian or what the gospel message means.

What must I do to be saved?

By Peter H Lawrence
Illustrations by Drew Snell

Paul and Silas are in prison praying and singing hymns at midnight despite having been flogged a few hours earlier. 'Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken - the prison doors flew open - and everybody's chains came loose.' (Acts 16:25,26)

The jailer knew he would be executed if the prisoners escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself, when Paul shouted at him 'Don't harm yourself! We are all here!' (Acts 16:28)

In the middle of the night, immediately after the earthquake, there would have been mess, confusion and darkness, but Paul's shouts achieved their aim. The jailer lit some torches, took them outside and then asked the big question:
'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' (Acts 16:30)

Undoubtedly the jailer was asking about how he could save his own skin, physically. Now that the prisoners were all free he'd basically had it but Paul, the gifted evangelist, is not going to miss an opportunity like this.
'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,' replies Paul, giving a spiritual answer to a physical question.

Having been told to believe in Jesus he then listened to Paul and Silas who told him all about Jesus. He was then baptised and filled with joy. Later Paul and Silas voluntarily returned to jail so that the jailer was not executed but became a member of the new Christian church in Philippi. If we want to
know what we have to do to be saved the answers are all in this story. (Acts 16:16-40)

Believe in the Lord Jesus
Jesus created the earth. (John 1:1) He became flesh by being born at Bethlehem, lived a perfect life, died, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven from where he sends the Holy Spirit to his followers and where he is preparing a place for all who love him. One day Jesus will return to judge the world.

In short - Jesus is Lord.

It is a lot to take in so you may need time to think about it or read the story in the New Testament first before deciding if you can believe in Jesus Christ as Lord.

Be baptised in the name of Jesus
The stream where the jailer was baptised is still there, just outside the ruined city of Philippi, but anywhere will do. There are three aspects of baptism to consider:

a) Washing clean for the forgiveness of sins.
'All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23) so we need to say sorry for our sins and turn from them if we are to be saved. Symbolically the waters of baptism portray the willingness of God to 'cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9), made possible by the death of Jesus on the cross. (Romans 5:8)

b) Dying to self.
We go under the water in baptism to show our willingness to die to self. Jesus said, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.' (Matthew 16:24). This means putting Jesus and what he wants before me and what I want.

c) Rising to live for Jesus
As we rise from the waters it is like Jesus rising from the dead. We rise to new life, to live for Jesus, now and in all eternity.

Be filled with joy
Jesus was 'full of joy through the Holy Spirit' (Luke 10:21) and Paul wrote about 'joy in the Holy Spirit' (Romans 14:17).

Baptism is symbolic but being 'filled with joy through the Holy Spirit' is what actually happens when we become Christians. The Spirit of Jesus enables our spirits to be born again. (John 3:6,7) to experience the forgiveness of sins, (Acts 10:43) and to call God Father (Romans 8:15,16).

After the jailer was baptised he was 'filled with joy' (Acts 16:34) and after we baptise people in the river beside our church we always lay hands on their heads, on the bank, and ask God to fill them with joy in the Holy Spirit.

Join a Church
After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. The jailer was now one of the 'brothers' and would need the encouragement of the church to go on being a Christian in a difficult world, and to serve Jesus in it. So do we.

If you are not saved, or not sure if you are saved and would like to be sure, you might like to pray a prayer like this one:
Lord Jesus I believe in you.
Thank you for dying for my sins.
I'm sorry for the things I've done wrong and the good things I have failed to do.
I choose to follow you whatever it costs.
I ask you to come into my life by your Spirit as Lord and Saviour,
and to help me live for you. AMEN.

Then celebrate! Have a party. Invite your friends round for a meal and tell them all about it - especially Christian friends who can introduce you to a suitable church where, if appropriate, you can be baptised.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Why Spirit Works?

In 2019 the majority of our weekend bookings are for Spirit Works days. You might think it strange that we have published this book and lead days about life in the Spirit. Helen explained why in her preface to Spirit Works, and we thought you might be interested to read about it here:

Why Spirit Works?

Or to put it differently, why are we, a Christian music organisation, writing a book about the work of the Holy Spirit?

Worship and the Holy Spirit go hand in hand. Psalm 22:3 is a verse that expresses this beautifully for me:
“Yet you are holy; enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (NRSV)
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (KJV)

On a couple of occasions I have been blessed with a picture or feeling of the Holy Spirit enjoying our worship, dancing and swirling around with incredible exuberance. God inhabits the very praises of his people, and this is beautifully summed up in a simple worship song by Paul Kyle:
And as we worship, build a throne; come, Lord Jesus, and take your place.

John 4:23 says that true worshippers will worship in Spirit and in truth. And in Ephesians 5:18-19, the apostle Paul writes that we must sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, but only after he first exhorts us to be filled with the Spirit.

Sung worship lifts up our hearts, increases our expectancy, shifts our focus, and changes the atmosphere. As we set our minds on the praise of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, if we let him, can come and move, dance, alight, fill, heal and restore. As a music ministry we need to write this book as an affirmation that we believe that music isn’t an end in itself, but a catalyst, a vehicle. On a number of occasions I have been present in a celebration where at the end of the praise time the Holy Spirit has moved in great power, causing plans to be put on hold and speakers to wait their turn. It reminded me of the consecration of the temple in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14:

“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang:
“He is good; his love endures forever.”
Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.”

It would be irresponsible for us as a ministry to encourage you in leading worship that brings people into a place of openness to God, and then to leave you without the tools to know what to do when you get there.

In 1981 Roger released his musical ‘Saints Alive’, written about Pentecost – the birth of the Church. This musical was the first to contain a time of improvised praise, or worship in the Spirit. Over the years this ‘Planned Spontaneous Happening’ slot within a musical has developed, and in 2005 the musical ‘Jail Break’ included the first ‘Planned Prophetic Happening’. This is where a soloist is brave, and sings out over the audience and choir what they feel God is saying for that very moment. We have been so blessed by all the Lord has sung during those times through very ordinary people that we would hate for others to miss out. So as the musicals are printed and released for the general public to use as they please, we pray that this book will accompany them, helping many people to take the risky step of incorporating time for the Holy Spirit to take centre stage in their performances.

Roger's August eNews

Hi Everyone – I’m a bit early for August but we’re off to start our Lee Abbey music week on Saturday.

Our full colour Summer Newsletter is now published.  It includes details of upcoming events, diary, publications, etc, well into 2019.  If you’d like a printed copy (or indeed a handful to put out at your church) please contact the CMM office.

We’ve now released two new  CMM publications:
These are available online, but you can also ring CMM to place an order:  01527 576440.

As well as on our web site, most of our musicals, books, etc, are now published on Kindle, and all of our recording are on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.
Our HEART & SOUL radio programme (6-8pm every Wednesday on South Birmingham Radio) is going really well.  We hope you listen to it live, but you can catch-up  on “Sound Cloud” using this page of the CMM blog.  We play lots of varied Christian music and welcome a whole array guests with amazing stories.

We have two more CMM music weeks to come after Lee Abbey, open to all ages, abilities, singers, instrumentalists and listeners:
  • AUG 19-25 (Sun-Sat) Willersley Castle, Cromford, Derbys (01629 582270)
  • SEP 08-14 (Sat-Fri) Sidholme, Sidmouth, East Devon (01395 515104)
I believe there are still a few spaces left on these weeks.

Annie is leading an APOSTLE in a day at WestWakefield Methodist Church (with live instruments) on Saturday 11 Aug.  More singers are very much welcome, and if you want to watch the performance it is at 6pm.

Bless you all!

Roger Jones

Friday, 20 July 2018

Heart & Soul

If you want to listen back to the Heart and Soul back catalogue, look no further.  Here are some Mixcloud links.

Roger has become involved in a local radio station.  The station isn't limited to the Birmingham area though - it is an internet radio so you can listen in anywhere!  Roger, along with CMM favourites Simon Gudger and Debra Mayo host the Heart & Soul show on Wednesdays from 6-8pm.  The first half of the show is usually a pre-recorded interview with all kinds of interesting people such as Jonathan Viera and Bishop Graham Dow.  The second half is live in the studio with the team chatting to a variety of local guests.  All of the chat is interspersed with a variety of Christian music.  Do tune in if you get chance, and follow the programme on Facebook.

The last few shows are up on Mixcloud, so if you want to listen again, you can do so here:

12th September features an interview with Dave Fellingham, and then the team welcome childrens and families worker Trish Nesbett.

19th September - Roger interviews Alison Fuggle, poet and lyricist about her life and her new Christmas book 'With all the Trimmings'.  In the second hour Roger and Debs share more music and chat.

25th September - Roger shares his interview with hymnwriter Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith.  In the second hour Simon and Roger chat to four girls about to go to Peru with BMS.

3rd October - Roger interviews the wonderful Emily Owen about her experiences becoming deaf as a teenager and about her work as an author.  Then in the second half of the programme the team talk to Nicole Robinson-Edwards about her work with Kids Klub Kampala.

10th October - Roger interviews soprano Anne Linstrum for the first hour, and then in the second week the focus is on Baby Loss Awareness week with moving interviews and conversation.

17th October - Roger interviews Jon Pocock and then the team talk about dementia with Sue Hallcroft.

Roger's July eNews

Hi Everyone – it’s July already and I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful summer weather! 

This Saturday (07 July) we lead SPIRIT WORKS (teaching and ministry in the power of the Spirit) at Rhos-on-Sea URC, North Wales 10am-4.30pm.  I know it’s the England match, so we’re proposing a total ban on phones and information during the day, so we can all go back and watch the recording.  No excuse not to come!  Contact office@cmm.org.uk or ring 01527 576440 for details, or just turn up! 

The CMM Choir have started their series of performances of ROCK (the story of Simon Peter). Productions still to come are:
  • Sat 07 July - St Germain's Church, Edgbaston - B16 9TD (1900 hrs)
  • Sat 14 July - St John's Church, Harborne - B17 9PT (1930 hrs)
  • Sun 22 July - George Road Baptist, Erdington - B23 7RY (1800 hrs)

Following a wonderful JAIL BREAK week in Grange, Cumbria, there are three more CMM music weeks to come, open to all ages, abilities, singers, instrumentalists and listeners:
  • JUL 28-04 Aug (Sat-Sat) Lee Abbey, North Devon (01598 752621)
  • AUG 19-25 (Sun-Sat) Willersley Castle, Cromford, Derbys (01629 582270)
  • SEP 08-14 (Sat-Fri) Sidholme, Sidmouth, East Devon (01395 515104)
Good numbers already booked, but room for more, especially at Willersley and Sidholme.

We’re releasing two new  CMM publications:
  • ROCK (story of Simon Peter) Bible Study for House Groups, by Simon Cooper - brilliantly written, and ready to use with your group, or to start one.
  • WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS – Alison Fuggle’s new collection of Christmas seasonal poems.
These are not yet available online, but you can ring CMM to place advance orders:  01527 576440.

Finally, Rachel Haddon, our lovely intern who has just left us, has produced a wonderful photo sequence of my special birthday event, featuring ROCK with an orchestra of nearly 50 and a choir of 200.  She has excelled herself, and it’s well worth a look !
Bless you all!

Roger Jones

Christian Music Ministries
24 Spadesbourne Road, Lickey End, Bromsgrove B60 1JP
Tel: 01527 576440

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Month Ten in the Life of an Intern

Read Month One (September)
Read Month Nine (May)

So this is it – my final day in the office and my final blog post. It all seems to have gone so quickly. 

June however has been quite busy, with a few gigs in the diary. The first of these was a weekend in South Wales with Helen who was leading Greater than Gold in-a-day. The Saturday got off to a great start with some parkrun tourism at the Gnoll Estate Country Park, and once we were all showered and clean we headed to the church to get ready for the event. I was playing oboe parts that I had created in the preceding weeks in the office by mashing together sections from the flute, clarinet and alto sax parts. It was rather a warm weekend (which in general was a good thing!), but unfortunately this played havoc with my reeds, so it was a bit stressful as I felt like I was fighting my oboe the whole time, but the choir and soloists did an amazing job – hats off to Helen, as the event was actually a 'Musical in-an-afternoon', yet she still managed to teach them the whole thing, and to round the day off, the performance was well appreciated by the audience. On the Sunday morning, Helen preached (very well) and the rest of us took part in the worship. The team were then treated to a lovely roast dinner cooked by Helen's mum to set us up well for the journey home! 

The following Saturday, I travelled to Kidderminster to be part of the team for a Musical Man evening with the New Life Together choir. The choir had been superbly trained and there was a large audience who seemed very responsive to Roger's testimony of God's work in his life. 

One of my office jobs this month has been to create a video of photos from Roger's 70th birthday bash in Tamworth which is now live here on the CMM Youtube channel. If you were there, see if you can spot yourself! I have also proofread the new files for the Simeon vocal score, which will be going for reprint soon. 
As my internship draws to an end, so does my time with the CMM choir. At the start of this month, I was asked to lead a rehearsal with each choir. I was pretty nervous, particularly as I hadn't led a full rehearsal with the East Birmingham choir before, however everybody survived so I guess it must have been okay! One of my lasting memories will be the incident from that week involving a rather large spider at the West Birmingham choir and the effect that it had on the front row of sopranos! Unfortunately, I have only been able to make it to one of the choir's performances of Rock, however I was very honoured to receive some lovely cards, gifts and well-wishes from the members and committee – it has been a pleasure to be part of the choirs and I very much hope that we will meet again in the future. 

As this blog post draws to a close, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone I've crossed paths with during my time with CMM – I have met some truly lovely people. I'd like to give especial thanks to Roger and Mary for taking me on, to the office staff for being so welcoming, providing me with lots of jobs to do and coping with my aversion to making tea, to all the associates I have met who have made me feel so at home when on team, to the couple I have stayed with over my office days for keeping me wonderfully well fed and watered and to the people who have given me lifts to and from stations and rehearsals. It has been a real privilege to be part of CMM this year and to have the opportunity to explore different aspects of music and faith, and the ways in which those are so closely intertwined. I am planning to stick around on the associates list so very much hope to see many of you again at some point, but for now, it's goodbye from me. 


Sunday lunch in South Wales!

Roger's June eNews

Hi Everyone – sorry I’m late with the June eNews.  Things have been very busy here at CMM!

Every Wednesday from 6-8pm Roger along with Rev Simon Gudger and Debs Mayo host a radio show called HEART & SOUL.  They feature Christian music, uplifting stories and conversation.  Please tune in and tell others! https://southbirminghamradio.uk/
It’s internet based, so you can get it on your PC, phone, tablet, etc.  If you'd like to be kept up to date each week with what is featured on the programme, follow the Facebook page @heartandsoulinspire

The CMM Choir have started their series of performances of ROCK (the story of Simon Peter).  Forthcoming productions are:
  • Sunday 24 June - Harborne Baptist Church - B17 ODH (1800 hrs)
  • Sunday 01 July - St Francis Church, Bournville - B30 2AA (1830 hrs)
  • Saturday 07 July - St Germain's Church, Edgbaston - B16 9TD (1900 hrs)
  • Saturday 14 July - St John's Church, Harborne - B17 9PT (1930 hrs)
  • Sunday 22 July - George Road Baptist Church - B23 7RY (1800 hrs)

Sadly, at the end of this month we say good bye to Rachel Haddon, our intern.  Rachel has played a wonderful role in the CMM over the last 10 months and we shall really miss her.  We wish her well as she now completes the final year of her music degree.  See the CMM Blog which contains the latest of Rachel’s report “The life of an Intern”, plus other news.

Also coming up we have a SPIRIT WORKS day at Rhos-on-Sea URC, North Wales 10am-4.30pm (contact office@cmm.org.uk or ring 01527 576440 for details)

Following a wonderful JAIL BREAK week in Grange, Cumbria, there are three more Christian music weeks to come, open all ages, abilities, singers, instrumentalists and listeners:
  • JUL 28-04 Aug (Sat-Sat) Lee Abbey, North Devon (01598 752621)
  • AUG 19-25 (Sun-Sat) Willersley Castle, Cromford, Derbys (01629 582270)
  • SEP 08-14 (Sat-Fri) Sidholme, Sidmouth, East Devon (01395 515104)

We’d love to see you at one of our events, and any publicity you can give to them will be greatly appreciated.  We really are excited about what is going on in the CMM ministry, and want to reach as many folk as possible!

Bless you all!


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Month Nine in the Life of an Intern

Read Month One (September)
Read Month Seven (March)
Read Month Eight (April)

Hello June, and hello blog post for May! The month began with the CMM annual dinner which featured a delicious three-course meal, followed by Roger's speech on the workings of CMM over the previous year, which he managed to make quite interesting! The next day I worked an extra half-day in the office, before heading off to Northampton with Helen (and little Michael) for the Women's World Day of Prayer YPray conference. Over the weekend, I played my oboe during some of the worship slots that Helen was leading, was the 'official' childminder for Michael (although I did have to explain to a lady from another group that he wasn't mine...), and ate a lot of chicken. The guest speaker for the weekend was Emily Owen, whose story of deep faith despite life-changing health issues was inspirational. 

A fun office job this month was browsing Roger's photo collection trying to find the most embarrassing pictures of him for Helen to put into a slideshow which those of you who were at Tamworth on the 19th will have seen. What I'm not sure about however is whether Roger thought that this was a worthwhile use of my time! On the subject of Tamworth, I have already written a blog post about that so I will direct you to that for my take on the day (click here), however I will say here that I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I think it was a fitting birthday tribute to Roger. 

May ended with the music week at Abbot Hall, Grange-over-Sands. It was lovely for me to see some familiar faces there, as well as meeting lots of new ones (including Anthony, who took some top-quality photos and requested a shout-outhi Anthony!), and the Cumbrian weather surpassed all my expectations, allowing me to wear shorts every day and providing a warm and sunny backdrop for a truly great week. The musical we learned and performed was Jailbreak, with the choir trained by Sharon Collins, and the orchestra brushed into shape by Annie. The schedule for a music week is well designed, so if you haven't been on one before, I would highly recommend it! Mornings feature times of worship and teaching followed by rehearsals, then there is free time in the afternoon which gives the opportunity for exploring the area. Evenings consist of a variety of different activities – this particular week included a DVD, a 'Heart & Soul Radio Roadshow' and Abbot Hall's infamous 'Floor Monopoly' which, as Monopoly is prone to do, revealed some unexpectedly competitive natures! Despite all the frivolity, the message of Jailbreak was preached well throughout the week, both by Roger in his morning teaching slots, and through the final performance on the Friday evening – in Jesus Christ, we are set free! 

The music week spilled over into the beginning of June, and the start of the month brings the realisation that this is my penultimate monthly blog, which means that in just a few short weeks my time with CMM will draw to a close. There is however, the rest of June to go, including a couple more gigs, so I will be making the most of the time I have left!

Team Orchestra at Abbot Hall

Jacqueline du Pré eat your heart out 😀