Friday, 15 March 2019

Roger's Monthly eNews

This blog post will be updated each month with Roger's news - if you click on the 'View Online Version' at the top of Roger's email, this is where you are sent!



Hi Folks – things are beautifully busy at CMM, and I’m so excited to share news with you.

TORN CURTAIN - new release:
  • On Saturday 02 March we launched the Torn Curtain Communion Setting.  It was a great success, with a splendid afternoon at St Andrew’s Barnt Green.  Lots of people came, including some lovely new CMM friends!  Huge thanks to all who were involved.
  • As part of the day we took the opportunity to record some promotional material, so click here to have a look at a CMM trailer including scenes from the afternoon at Barnt Green, courtesy of Kettell Productions.
  • We hope soon to have the full version of the Torn Curtain Communion Setting ready for download, including a video, instrumental parts, pew cards, PowerPoint slides etc – watch this space!
  • We’ve separated the communion songs from the main musical songs, so will be launching the musical at TORN CURTAIN with an Orchestra on Sat 12 Oct at Coton Green Church.  Get the date in your diary now!

WORSHIP WORKS events:
  • This Sunday (17 Mar) at 6-8 pm - an evening at St Nicholas Alcester, Warwickshire – all are welcome.
  • Saturday 13 April, 10am-4.30pm - Applethwaite Centre, Windermere, Cumbria - booking is via www.cumbriachristianlearning.org,uk/event/worship-works or Pam Dent, 4 Woodside Avenue, Sedbergh LA10 5EY (Tel. 015396 20042).
  • Mon 12- Fri 16 August – a Worship Works music week - Pleshey, Chelmsford, Essex – open to all worshippers, including singers, instrumentalists, leaders, etc.  There will be worship, teaching, learning new songs and a session trying out the TORN CURTAIN communion setting.  Click here to book.

SPIRIT WORKS weekend:
  • 30-31 March at St John’s, Ben Rhydding, Ilkley - Sat 10am-4pm, followed by the morning service on Sunday at 10am.  Do come along if you are in the area.

CMM SUPPORTERS EVENING:
  • Thursday 09 May – 7.30pm at Catshill Baptist Church, Milton Road, Catshill, Bromsgrove, B61 0NA
  • In the past the CMM Trust have held an annual dinner for supporters, particularly aimed at those in the West Midlands area.  This year we have decided to do things a little differently.  Instead of a meal, we will have drinks, nibbles and cakes, and the evening is open to all our supporters, wherever you are!
  • The evening will include music, worship, Roger’s report on the ministry and plans for the future, a time of prayer and seeking the Lord together as well as an offertory for the CMM Trust.
  • If you would like to come, please let Nicky know – office@cmm.org.uk  or call 01527 576 440.

We don’t always talk about it, but in order to continue this ministry we totally rely upon PRAYER and FINANCIAL support.  Would you please consider supporting us in this way?

Keep in touch and bless you all!

Roger Jones

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

At last - some promotional material!

It has been a long time coming, but finally on Saturday 2nd March we managed to video some promotional material for CMM!  Stuart and Victoria from Kettell Productions came to the Torn Curtain Communion Launch in the morning.  First of all they filmed Helen talking about what is CMM.  Then Annie spoke about why a musical is a great thing to do at your church.  And finally they filmed as Roger and Annie chatted about the Torn Curtain.  They also filmed the whole of the launch, so we'll be getting that up on YouTube soon.




Here are the results!
Helen - What is CMM?

Annie - Why perform a Roger Jones Musical?

The full video including Helen and Annie's bits too.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

The intern's tale part 6 - February 2019


Hiya folks!

Yet another month has passed and it’s time again for me to tell you what I’ve been getting up to.

Singing alto at CMM Choir
February has been a bit of a mixed month. A few new challenges tackled and a well needed week off.  I have started to arrange music for myself for flute and clarinet for productions of From Pharaoh to Freedom with CMM Choir. It’s always hard knowing what to play and on which instrument. I am singing in the alto section this year for choir as it’s a chance for me to do something different, I’m enjoying it very much.

As this new year started, Roger said that he would like me to give one of the talks during the choir rehearsal. I have written it this last week with Helen's help, as I have not done this before and talking in front of adults is not one of my strong suits. Children I’m okay with, but adults make me very nervous. I found it quite hard to write but I think it will help myself and others as it includes a personal story to help explain things. It is a way to express to people just how much the Lord has helped me and shown me I can do everything through him.

Also, this month I led a worship block on the Spirit Works event in High Bentham. I was very nervous, as I am used to playing up at the front of church with Roger and the team, but not leading. I quite happily hide behind my flute when I’m at the front. So for this I planned what songs I wanted to do, my prayer and a short verse from the Bible. I kept it simple, keeping to songs that they would know so it would be more relaxing for myself and the congregation. I got up at the front and I felt so confident, the Holy Spirit was certainly with me. I had been so nervous but when it came to it, it was like I’d done it hundreds of times and I wasn’t nervous anymore, I sang with God and He gave me all the strength I needed to do it. I am very pleased with how it went.

I am still working on the Pharisee promotional video for CMM.  This month I finished the music compilation, cutting snippets from 18 songs down to just over 7 minutes. I now just need to sort out the pictures for the video and try and get the timing right (which for a perfectionist is a difficult hah...).

Before we had our half term holiday, I had to go on a teacher training day with the school I’m with. Even as a volunteer, I knew it would be a good day to learn more about classroom management and to hear how the trainer explains things. I learnt a lot from the day, and it was good just to spend some time with the teachers talking about going into primary school teaching. I have completed the application now and I just need to do the final edits to my personal statement then I will send it off. I'm terrified! I stress about interviews, so there’s a lot of prep and homework to be done.

On the beach in Kent
As it was half term, I took the chance to take a holiday. I did a bit of a tour of the country in the end; I originally planned to go down to Kent to visit a good friend for a week and then come back, but unfortunately, after my week in Kent I had to attend a funeral of a close friend I lived with a few years ago from Cumbria. My week in Kent was the hottest holiday I think I’ve ever had in February. I relaxed on the beach with a book, had a few walks, ate from the chippy on the beach on my last day - it was the most relaxed holiday I’ve been on for a long time! Just what I needed to recharge my batteries.

I travelled up to Cumbria from Kent which was a very long journey, and the funeral the next day went as well as it could do.  It was one of the hardest I’ve had to attend but as he loved the Lord, he is resting with the Lord and at peace. I was able to spend some time with our friendship group which was important for me to be able to do as when I'm in Birmingham it’s hard to see them.

From there I travelled to Manchester to go and see Les MisΓ©rables which was phenomenal.  It is one of the only shows you can see with a cold and people don’t mind because they just think you’re crying haha. It was also good to catch up with friends in Manchester that I haven’t seen for a while. We did lots and lots of walking, and it was nice to have a shopping/explorer day 😊.

Now I’m back in Birmingham, it’s back to the real world of work and I’m ready to get stuck into this month! Batteries charged and ready to go 😊.

I hope you all have a good month and know the Lord is always by your side.
God bless,
Gemma xx

Friday, 1 March 2019

The Curtain is Torn!


Transcription of Helen's sermon from the Torn Curtain Communion Setting Launch, 2nd March 2019.

Reading – Luke 23:26-46 and Hebrews 10:11-23

One day when I was about 14 years old, some friends came to visit – two boys, the older one, Luke, was my age and the younger one, Simon, was my sister’s age.  We went to the local park together without our parents, and as they were boys, they brought along some balls to play with.  One of the things they brought was a cricket set – ball, bat, stumps and bails – probably some wicket keeper pads and gloves too knowing them.  Our local park was lovely – it had a great play area, a basketball court, another multi-purpose games area and two lovely big cricket pitches.  So naturally we went straight to one of the cricket pitches. We got the stumps out and hammered them into the ground with the bat – bang, bang, bang.  Then we took it in turns to stand guard while someone else bowled.  It was brilliant.  I’d never played on a proper pitch before.  Then, after a while, I looked up to see a very red-faced man approaching on a roller.  After hurling not an insignificant amount of abuse at us, he proceeded to repeatedly roll over the area where we had been playing for the next half an hour, as we sheepishly moved off elsewhere to play football.  It appears we unwittingly desecrated the hallowed turf of Birstall Village Cricket Club. 

In my school, just as in any school, there was a special place that no children could enter.  The staff room.  If we needed a teacher urgently we would go and stand at the end of the corridor that led to the staff room and hope to catch another teacher on their way in so they could pass on the message.  I always felt quite embarrassed when I had to do this – they were never happy passing a message on, and the teacher I wanted almost never wanted to be disturbed.

A couple of years after I left the school, I returned for a special event, and I was asked to go and wait IN the staff room.  For the first time ever, I entered the forbidden corridor.  My heart beating fast, I slowly walked down it and round the corner, and into the inner sanctum itself.  There were comfy chairs.  There was a kettle.  There were fascinating lists up all over the walls – lists of exceptionally bright children.  I had been permitted in to the sanctuary but I still did not feel like I belonged.  I didn’t settle down into a comfy chair – I perched on the edge of one.  It simply did not feel like home.

There are some places you just can’t go unless you are qualified.  And there is a place we can go that we just shouldn’t ever be able to.  That is into the presence of Almighty God.  Just a little glance around us at the beauty and glory of creation makes us wonder quite how much more glorious the one who created it must be.  Just a little think about everyday life and how hard it is to live honestly and selflessly makes us wonder quite how wonderful Jesus, the one who lived without sin, must be.  Just a little glance inward at our own hearts reveals the complexity of feeling – what it means to have an inner life, to have a spirit – and this makes us wonder how much more incredible the Holy Spirit must be. 

But the amazing miracle of it all is that not only has a way been opened for us to come into the presence of the Almighty, but we are welcomed with open arms and encouraged to feel at home.

The name of the communion setting we have been learning today is The Torn Curtain.  The curtain was a feature of worship for the children of Israel right from when they first built a tabernacle in the wilderness to carry around with them.  Ordinary people were able to come in to the outer courts area to worship the Lord, and then specially consecrated priests were able go further into the Holy of Holies, but then there was an impenetrable barrier – the curtain – which blocked the way to the Most Holy Place.  Apart from on very rare, very special occasions, no one could go beyond the curtain.

At the time of Jesus the temple had a huge curtain.  Josephus, the Jewish historian living roughly at that time describes the curtain as incredibly beautiful, embroidered and woven in different colours that represent fire, earth, air and sea.  Other ancient Jewish sources say it was 60ft tall, 30ft wide and about 4 inches thick.  That is a serious curtain!

The reading Alan read for us is so hard to hear and yet breath-taking.  I love the little detail of the criminals hanging beside Jesus.  I love how it showed Jesus knew what was going on and what he was about to achieve.  “Today you will be with me in paradise.”  This criminal, the last person who would be able to enter in to the Most Holy Place is invited into glory by Jesus himself.

Two verses later, the curtain is torn.  That 4 inch thick curtain rips from top to bottom.  God, through Jesus has re-written the rules of holiness.  The criminal finds himself welcomed with open arms and we too can find the grace and mercy that is required.

When I was a teenager I attended a conference called Easter People at the Spa Centre in Scarborough.  One night I remember going into he ballroom and sitting upstairs.  We had a wonderful evening of worship and Bible teaching, and I remember towards the end the band were singing ‘Be still.’  When the second verse began I distinctly remember sensing the ‘glory of the Lord shining all around’.  In my mind’s eye I could see the most amazing light shining in the centre of the space.  Everyone was worshipping, basking in his presence.  I simply did not want to leave.  I wanted it to go on for ever.  I was home.  Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.

We are not invited into the Most Holy Place as sheepish schoolchildren sneaking in to the staff room.  God’s presence is our home.  There is no better place to be.  And Jesus has made the way.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Prison Ministry

A few months ago, Roger received what seemed like a most unlikely email.  A prisoner contacted him (via his chaplain) from a reasonably local prison to say that he had got hold of Worship Works, loved it, and was wondering if we had any more similar resources we could send him.  As the email conversation progressed, it turned into an invitation for Roger to travel to the prison to lead a Worship Works afternoon with the choir and other worshipping prisoners.

So on Thursday last week Roger, Helen and Brian travelled to the prison to meet the chaplains and prisoners and to lead an afternoon of worship teaching.  Of all Roger's works, Worship Works is probably the thing we least expected to lead in a prison, but it turned into a wonderful opportunity for some amazing ministry.

There were about 30 men there in a very well-equipped chapel, and most of them formed part of the choir that had used Roger's song 'Celebrate' at Christmas.  They were amazingly welcoming, enthusiastic and worshipful, as well as terrific singers.  Amongst them was an excellent trumpet player and a brilliant organist!

Roger began by speaking about the 'Worship Seeker' - it was so incredibly poignant to share about God's search for relationship with us and his arms that are open wide, no matter what we have done.  We sang Matt Redman's 'When I stand before your throne' and the words were so right for the occasion: 'I will see you as you are, love you with unsinning heart, and see how much you paid to bring me home... No more fears, no more shame, no more sin and sorrow ever known again...'

After a little break we took the opportunity to be more creative, and the men enthusiastically gave it a go, improvising along to various chord sequences and worship songs.  Helen was also privileged to sing 'Precious and Honoured' and 'Child, you are more precious than silver' over the men.  They were so, so receptive and we hope and pray that many of them know and understand God's look of love over them, since when they are released they will struggle to find a loving welcome in the world outside.

At the end of the afternoon the men sang 'Celebrate' - with Roger on keyboard (he'd never really played it before!) and Helen on guitar, as well as some trumpet and organ in the background.  Please pray for the men as they look to grow in the knowledge and love of Christ and for the chaplains who guide and help them.


Concert with Ishmael


Friday, 15 February 2019

Canon Michael Green - a tribute


We were saddened last week to hear of the death of Canon Michael Green. Roger went to visit Michael on a number of occasions to hear his wisdom and insight on a Biblical topic before starting to write a musical. He was such a wonderful support and was always so helpful to Roger as he began a new project.

Canon J John was a good friend of Michael's, and we have written out his moving tribute below.  One of the key sections of this tribute is the description of the way Michael dispelled the myth that you can't be an evangelical or a charismatic and a scholar.  We at CMM are greatly indebted to his support of the charismatic movement in the 1960s.

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The rich and extraordinarily fruitful earthly life of my friend Michael Green came to a close this week. Michael led a life that was so innovative, varied and dynamic that it's hard to summarise what he did. He was – often at the same time – vicar, evangelist, writer and theologian.

Michael served the church faithfully in many roles since the beginning of the 1950s. One curious observation of longevity is that you can end up outliving not only your contemporaries but also your achievements. Something of this applies here. Throughout his ministry Michael played a significant part in shaping what is modern evangelicalism in the UK. Yet precisely because many of the battles he heroically fought occurred so long ago, there are many today who are unaware of the role Michael played in creating a culture that they now take for granted.

Particularly important was the way that, in two key areas, Michael was able to dispel prejudices.

One was the belief, widely held until into the 70s, that you couldn't be a scholar and an evangelical, and certainly not one who was passionate for evangelism. Michael had an extraordinarily sharp mind and accumulated academic honours – indeed, had he chosen to be purely a scholar he could have been a professor in any of the great universities – but he remained openly and enthusiastically committed to sharing the good news of Jesus.

The second widespread preconception was that the only people who believed that the Holy Spirit might be a powerful and active force in the world today were those who were uneducated and knew no theology. Yet by giving early and outspoken support for the Charismatic Movement when it emerged onto the global scene in the 1960s, Michael demonstrated that to believe in the Holy Spirit did not demand that you ignored theology. The fact that today we take it for granted that you can be spiritual and scholarly and clever and charismatic owes much to his labours.

Two aspects of Michael Green's personality particularly struck me. The first of these was his wisdom. As the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30) teaches us, many people are given gifts but not everybody puts them to best use, but Michael did. Although he could have written as a scholar for scholars, Michael preferred to communicate his wisdom to the many, rather than to the few. He wrote more than 50 books, all of them readable and all distinguished by the way that he wore his great learning lightly. Even what is possibly his masterwork, Evangelism in the Early Church, keeps ‘the common touch’.

There was wisdom, too, in the way Michael observed the way both the world and the Church were going. Despite being someone who was very much at home in the ancient world, Michael kept a careful watch on emerging challenges for the Church and responded rapidly to them. So, for example, when in 1977 the now almost entirely forgotten book The Myth of God Incarnate was printed amid much publicity, Michael immediately organised the writing and publication of a scholarly riposte with such speed that The Truth of God Incarnate was on sale a mere six weeks later.

Yet if he could see immediate threats, Michael also looked to the long-term. Indeed one common theme in his varied career was a concern for building the Church of the future. Whether in teaching or training Michael realised that one of the most profitable things he could do was to invest in the lives of future generations.

So Michael was a profoundly wise man. Yet wisdom on its own can be a sterile gift; after all the very word academic can be used as an insult. Yet one of the things that made my friend so remarkable and so valuable was that his wisdom was coupled with passion. He had a hunger for God and, at the same time, for men and women to come to know Christ. He loved sharing the faith and had a remarkable enthusiasm for evangelism that age did not dim. His passion for witness put him at odds with those who preferred their Christianity to be neither shaken nor stirred, but he didn't care.

Reading the New Testament, I am struck by the fact that the apostle Paul was simultaneously the profound scholar and the passionate evangelist. These two things rarely come together: you tend to get scholars or evangelists. Yet with his combination of wisdom and passion Michael Green was an exception and when I was with him I felt reminded of the great apostle. I doubt there is higher praise.

Revd Canon J.John
Director
www.canonjjohn.com

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

The intern's tale part 5 - January 2019

Hiya folks,

Belated Happy New Year… I hope you’ve all had a great start to the year, and I trust God is helping you along the way.

This month has been haywire, with things cropping up and a bit mad. I have started at a new school, had various tests for my heart, physio sessions for shoulder and am now a year older. I'm also feeling better, as I’m taking things slower now!

The start to the year began with the EBRG retreat weekend at Shallowford House, I went just for the Saturday teaching and evening meal. It was a brilliant day all round and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a very moving day, we had talks, time to listen to God and prayer time with friends. During one of the songs that was played to us, I had a vision that can only have been sent from God. A woman was crying whilst running out of a house and down the street as fast as she could possibly run, and then a big bird, maybe an eagle, flew down the street after her and landed in front of her as Jesus. He asked her “Why are you running so fast?”, she replied with “Because I’m not worthy, I don’t deserve your love, I am far from perfect.” She proceeded to cry in the street. He took her by the hand and said to her “You are more than worthy, you are perfect to me just the way you are.” They stood there for a minute before taking her hand and walking with her back towards the house. I stood in front of the group at Shallowford and spoke of what I had seen whilst I was listening to the music. It was like I was watching a video. I wanted to share this with you as this may apply to some of you and I feel that it’s important to share this as God showed this to me so I can send the message to others. It was good to share the day with so many lovely people and talk with some new faces, spend time with God and have some social time as well in the evening. It was a very spiritually encouraging day.

During the first couple of weeks in the office, I had to do the most exciting job: stock taking. This entailed a lot of me stood on step ladders lifting boxes, counting (or rather losing count and starting again haha) and re-organising certain stock. The office and stock room are complete…it’s surprising how much you can have in just two rooms. At the top of the blog is a picture of me counting CDs on spindles...

From the second week of January I started at a new school in Bournville, which I am loving as the school and the staff are so lovely. I am specifically working with Year 3, but I have been with all the year groups, as well as helping with the choir on a Thursday. I am getting on with the children there which has been good, but I am working more closely with special needs children which is so rewarding as they seem to respond to me well and we get some good work done. The teachers are very thankful for the extra pair of hands towards the end of the week.

I am working towards the end of my personal statement to put in for my application for PGCE, in which I would like to specialise in special needs if I can, as I feel passionate about the understanding teachers need to be able to help them learn to the best of their abilities.

This month has been rather busy with extra stuff…we have had mine and Annie’s joint birthday with CMM office as we’re only a week apart. Who knew pizza express could make amazing dairy free pizzas? STUNNING. We’ve had a social for CMM choir which was nice, as we got to talk to people who we don’t normally have time to chat to and The People’s Orchestra has started back up, so tonnes of practise to do!

As some people who know me, I am rubbish with technology. It seems to break when I try something new. I previously installed Sibelius onto my laptop so that I could work on God is our Shelter and Strength at home, but it broke and wouldn’t open… It took a full day of Helen fiddling with settings stuff to be able to install it. Don’t know what I did, but it didn’t like me. I have since been working on it and got slightly further with harmonies and piano accompaniment on the piece which is exciting.

Since starting back with the CMM choirs, I have been trying to help a bit more, and assisted with bookstall to make life a bit easier and burning the part CDs to order. I am slowly learning to do the bookstall by observing and helping if needed. We are learning From Pharaoh to Freedom which is one of my favourites of Roger’s musicals! I have been allocated a rehearsal Bible study in a couple of months which is terrifying… I can play in front of people, but speaking to a room-full is scary, but God will help me and give me the strength and courage to get me through.

As most of you may already know, we are relaunching The Torn Curtain Communion Setting in a few weeks’ time which is going to be good. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend due to a previous commitment, although I have been doing some advertising for this and the responses which I’ve got from churches has been brilliant. It looks like it may have a good turnout which would be amazing.

This coming weekend Roger has asked me to lead worship for one of the sessions which is something completely new and scary… God will be with me and power me through. Being tested to the best of my ability and confidence 😊.

God Bless you all,

Gemma x

Friday, 1 February 2019

Abu Dhabi report

The view from the apartment window!
Last week Roger and Mick (CMM Trustee) visited Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for an investigative trip to discover whether it will be right to hold a mission there with the musical 'Rock' in November 2019.

Mick and Rev Gill Nisbet
The invitation originally came from Rev Gill Nisbet, one of the members of staff at St Andrew's Anglican Church in Abu Dhabi.  Gill used to be a member of the Lee Abbey community in the 1980s and in the 1990s brought her family to a CMM music week.  She met Roger and Mick by chance when they were visiting the synod of Cyprus and the Gulf in February 2018.  They told her about their plans for a musical mission to Cyprus (which took place in November 2018).  She met with them the following day and expressed an interest for the same thing to happen in Abu Dhabi.  Roger, in sharing all that would need to happen in preparation, didn't make it easy for them, but when he returned to the UK from Cyprus found an email waiting for him with a formal invitation.

Rev Charlee and some folk at Al Ain
Ironically on this visit there were no musical performances, but instead Roger led four seminars on music in worship and preached on a further two occasions.  The majority of the visit was at St Andrew's in Abu Dhabi - a large Anglican church in the centre of the city.  About 40 different congregations meet there each week from various language groups and Christian traditions.  The other part of the visit was 2 hours away in Al Ain at St Thomas' Anglican Church.  They currently meet in a disused golf club while they raise money to build their own church.  Both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain are incredibly multi-cultural with workers from overseas making up 85% of the population. 

Worship Works at St Andrews
Roger covered themes such as 'Psalms, hymns and songs', 'Creative and prophetic worship' and 'Enter his gates - worship in the Tabernacle shape' in his seminars.  He was mostly working alone although he found some local people to support him including a lovely vocalist, a drummer and a bass player at St Andrews and a viola player and ukulele player in Al Ain.  Roger loved encouraging them with their improvisation, and one person was even willing to sing out a prophetic word.  He was also able to share some words of knowledge that had been received here in the UK ahead of the visit which were claimed.

Roger and Mick with Rev Andy
The vicar of St Andrews, Andy Thompson, is very much a 'big picture' man and is very excited about the prospect of a mission later in the year.  He facilitated Roger sharing a presentation on using musicals in mission at both the PCC and a meeting of 40 or 50 pastors where a good number signed up for further information.  Roger currently feels that if the door opens we probably should go through it, but we need to keep constantly weighing it up before God.  The next step lies with the folks at Abu Dhabi to pray and decide what to do.

There is an interesting climate out there at the moment, as the Sheikh has declared 2019 to be a 'year of tolerance', however churches must not be seen to be proselytising.  One of the joys of taking the musical Rock is that it speaks for itself.  Next week the pope is visiting Abu Dhabi and they are expecting 150000 Catholics to congregate.  Please be praying for that country and the people there.
More from Worship Works at St Andrews

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Roger's January eNews


Hi Folks - We’ve just had our annual retreat weekend with our EBRG support group, Trustees and some of our close friends. Under the ministry of Rev Keith Powell we received great blessing and a renewed vision for the future.  As you will have guessed, I’m not planning on retirement, but “thinning” things down in order to keep going.  We have much to tell you about where we believe the Lord is leading the CMM over the coming years and once again we are asking for both your prayer and financial support in order to be able to keep following him.  These bullet points are a summary – do see below for more detail:

  • MUSICALS – involving our whole team and others far and near – days, weekends, weeks, missions
  • OTHER MUSIC – collections, arrangements, other authors
  • TORN CURTAIN – relaunching both the Communion Setting and the Musical
  • SPIRIT WORKS & WORSHIP WORKS – leading evening, weekend and day courses in churches, and promoting the books as a resource for encouraging renewal in churches and individuals
  • MUSICAL MAN – evenings of song and testimony, a wonderful way of encouraging and sharing the love of Jesus
  • HEART & SOUL – our weekly internet radio show (Weds 6-8pm) sharing amazing stories and inspiring music
  • HOUSE GROUP MATERIAL – already four books available and more to come!

MUSICALS – these have always been a major weapon in our armoury.  Annie loves leading musical-in-a-day events, and Helen will also lead some, but we have other choir trainers/conductors, who together with CMM associate soloists, can lead a day or weekend involving local singers.  On special occasions Roger can come in at the final stage either to conduct, speak or preach at local church services – don’t be afraid to ask!
We also have our Music Weeks (see our LATEST NEWS for 2019 venues) which enable folks of all ages and abilities to come together in a beautiful setting to learn a musical.  Alongside musical rehearsals the weeks include Spirit-filled worship, Bible teaching and plenty of time to relax and holiday!  This year we have Wildfire weeks in Cumbria, North Devon, Yorkshire Dales and South Devon.
We aim to keep all of our musicals in print, either physically or digitally on Kindle, and all our recordings are available on CD and digitally to download or stream from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and other online platforms.  Have a look at our new 2019 Catalogue

OTHER MUSIC – our best anthems and choral arrangements are available on the Choral Collection page of our online shop.  We are also in conversation with other composers and writers, so watch this space!

TORN CURTAIN - we’re so excited that in 2019 TORN CURTAIN is once again going to be in print!  We begin with a launch of the Communion Setting on Saturday 2nd March, and then on October 12th we will be holding a special choir and orchestra day in Tamworth again – contact Helen on events@cmm.org.uk if you would like to attend either date.

SPIRIT WORKS – a resource book based upon the power, gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit.  This book provides material for practical and teaching sessions where folks can explore, understand and experience the work of the Spirit in a safe and gentle environment.  Encouraging others to receive ongoing renewal in the power of the Spirit has always been the basic aim of CMM, and this book is the result of many years of ministry.

WORSHIP WORKS – similar to SPIRIT WORKS, but majoring of the ministry of worship within the lives of individuals and churches, again, with practical teaching and exercises.  This is not just for musicians but for the whole worshipping  community.

MUSICAL MAN – in 2015 Graham Allan wrote a wonderful biography of Roger, and it has inspired some very special ‘Musical Man’ evening events where Roger shares his life-story illustrated by songs from the musicals and collections.  They can be with or without a local group of singers/choir.  These have proved to be very moving evenings,  and an opportunity to bring friends with or without a church connection.  We normally offer these midweek, but can be flexible.

HEART & SOUL – we have an amazing opportunity to broadcast Christian music and stories – it’s 6-8pm every Wednesday on https://southbirminghamradio.com/ . Roger co-hosts it alongside two other CMM “favourites” Rev Simon Gudger and Debra Mayo.  We’ve already had lots of interesting guests, including Canon Andrew White, Timothy Dudley-Smith, Chris Eaton, Dave Bilborough, Jonathan Viera and many more.  Make sure you tune in, or keep an eye on our blog page for links to past shows.

HOUSE GROUPS – the musicals are a wonderful way for people to learn about the Bible through music, but we love to encourage choirs and congregations to go deeper.  In partnership with Simon Cooper at Refreshment we have been developing courses that can either accompany each musical or stand-alone. These are ready to use courses, with suggested activities, teaching, discussion and prayer times, all aimed at enriching the spiritual life of members.  We already have books based upon WILDFIRE (Wood for the Fire by Peter Lawrence), JAIL BREAK (Breaking News by Peter Lawrence), BARNABAS, ROCK, and there will be more to follow!

Special announcement!  Mary and I have been asked to lead a special trip to Oberammergau in 2020.  This will be a very special trip as it also includes a stay in Salzburg and a Mozart concert!  Download further details and the booking form here.

This week, with Mick Green, I travel out to Abu Dhabi (in UAE), in order to explore the possibility of a Musical Mission later this year.  Whilst over there I will be preaching twice and leading WORSHIP WORKS seminars, so greatly value your prayers, that God will guide us, keep us safe and lead us regarding future ministry!

Keep in touch and bless you all!

Roger Jones

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Torn Curtain Communion Setting Launch

See the flyer below for our launch day for the extended Torn Curtain Communion Setting on March 2nd:

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

The intern's tale part 4 - December 2018


Hiya folks!

So this is the last you’ll hear from me for 2018… These past few months have absolutely flown by! I can’t believe it’s nearly 2019.

This month has been very busy and very different in comparison to the last few as IT'S CHRISTMAS!  December is a musician's crazy month with no relaxing, just lots and lots of rehearsals, concerts and cards/presents to make.

I played and sang in the last two performances of While Shepherds Watched with CMM Choir. Both concerts went really well - we had some amazing feedback from audience members about how we did and also how the message from the musical helped and moved them.

Whilst performing in the concerts with CMM I have also been busy in the office getting to know Audacity (a sound editing programme) again, after having a two year break from it. It was hard work getting back into it but I’m getting there. I have been working on slicing together snippets of songs for a promo video, and a couple of interview MP3s. Trying to remember how to use it is always fun!
As well as this, I have been challenged by Annie and Helen to transcribe a song by a friend of CMMs. I love transcribing but it is very difficult and very challenging on the aural side of music… a lot of brain power is needed for it!

Alongside having to write this blog every month I also had to write a Christmas Newsletter, which I have never done before. It’s a bit like being at Uni having to do all this writing! You can have a read of the newsletter if you click on this link.

As we have come to the end of the year, all the staff here write a newsletter and as well as having an email mailing list, we still send out over 100 hard copies of the newsletter, so I have spent almost two days compiling the newsletters, labelling, stamping the envelopes and putting them in the post. It felt a bit like doing my first job of advertiser when I was compiling the letters together.

As a tradition for every work place, the CMM staff plus Helen's little Michael went out for lunch as it is our last week here before the Christmas break. We had a great time, lots of laughter and time to just be with each other. They are all just fabulous people, a great laugh and encouraging and supportive. The bad cracker jokes, silly hats, a carvery and great company is all you need to get you in the Christmas zone πŸ˜„πŸ’—. 

Beyond CMM, I have done my first photoshoot representing The People's Orchestra for the paper, as we got some funding.  This meant that we could give free tickets out to socially isolated, disabled or elderly people, to give them the chance to see a live concert which they may not normally go to which is absolutely fantastic!

My first concert with them was amazing. It was a very long day, but the members of the group and the brilliant music made up for that. It was very difficult music, but our hard work had obviously paid off as the audience have said how brilliant it was. They group are such brilliant and funny people, which helps pass the time through long breaks or during rehearsals. To add to the day, I decided I wanted to do a bit of baking for the orchestra, as it’s Christmas, and I wanted to try my recipes out, and amazingly all three tubs of my baking got eaten! I must be alright at it πŸ˜‹

Now all my concerts have finished so I can relax for the Christmas holidays and come back fresh in 2019…

Have an amazing Christmas and New Year!
God bless you all,
Gemma xx







CMM Christmas News


Hi folks! At last, our Christmas newsletters are ready - just click on the links:

CMM NEWS 2019 – upcoming events, music weeks, new products, radio show, etc
POPPY’S PAGES – Jones family news & pictures
ANNIE’S CHRISTMAS NEWS – action in choir, orchestra and ballet, etc
HELEN’S CHRISTMAS NEWS – much music-making and an adorable Michael
NICKY’S CHRISTMAS NEWS – confessions of PA!
GEMMA’S CHRISTMAS NEWS – initial adventures of an Intern

We hope you really enjoy reading these.
Have a lovely Christmas!

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Roger's December eNews

Hi Folks - just a brief eNews as our official Christmas Newsletter will be coming soon. Poppy just hasn't got around to it yet!

We look back on our CYPRUS tour thanking God for his amazing grace in blessing the ROCK productions so much. There was much joy and awareness of his love, and it was lovely to be worshipping amongst great people, and brilliant to see many responding to the message during and after the performances. We were also delighted to have a good number at our final meeting (at Limassol) where we welcomed the presence of the Spirit who came with such gentle power and love. There was a real thirst for the Lord! We pray God's blessing on his people in Cyprus, that he may raise up more leaders to enable the church there to obey his word and be open to his Spirit.

The CMM Choir have one more production of WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED, this Sunday 09 Dec at Ward End Elim Church starting at 6pm.

Important announcement - Mary are to lead an exciting trip to OBERAMMERGAU in 2020. This will be a very special trip as in addition to the famous Passion Play it includes time in Salzburg and a Mozart concert! Download further details and the booking form.

Don't forget HEART & SOUL 6-8pm every Wednesday on
https://southbirminghamradio.com/

- or on an "app" like Simple Radio

If you miss a programme you can "catch-up" on MIXCLOUD

You can help CMM whilst buying your Christmas presents. Our online shop has so many exciting items, and you can also support us by joining EASY FUNDRAISING, where you name CMM as
your "cause" and earn for us as you purchase from most major outlets in UK, inc. Amazon, etc.

Keep in touch and bless you all!

Roger Jones

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

We are delighted to be able to announce that in 2020 Roger and Mary will be leading a visit to Oberammergau with Christian Guild Holidays.  Here is the front page of the brochure.  To download the full brochure, click here.


Thursday, 29 November 2018

The Intern's Tale part 3 - November 2018


Hiya folks,

It’s that time of the month again when I give you a massive task of reading my goings on for the month haha 😊.

So, during this month it has been busy as it is the run up to Christmas. I have had the joy of arranging parts for myself to play along with in the ‘While Shepherds Watched’ concerts. I looked at Annie’s full score arrangements and reduced it down to Flute, Clarinet…and Oboe…Yes, I have bought an Oboe!!! I have started to learn the instrument and it is going well. I have had the instrument for a couple of weeks, I still sound like a bit of a duck…but that is to be expected and with practise, I will improve. It has given me a challenge and motivation to learn something brand new.

I have been assisting Annie and Sylvia with the running of choir, so Annie and I would take turns in taking soloists out, one of us would take the soloist and the other run the choir, and then switching roles which was good practise for me and has given me a bit more confidence in being in front of lots of people giving the orders! I also assisted Sylvia on a Monday night, by teaching a few of the numbers, conducting whilst Sylvia was on the piano which worked really well and was good fun.  We have done two out of the four concerts so far and they have gone so well, the choir sound absolutely amazing, and as it is quite a difficult musical, they have done brilliantly!

For these concerts I have done quite a lot of advertising around the areas, emailing and messaging the churches in the surrounding area so we get a good audience, and I have had good responses to the advertising and churches putting the posters up and in their notice sheets at church, they have been a blessing.

As well as doing the arranging for ‘While Shepherds Watched’, I have done a transposition of ‘Is He Worthy’ by Andrew Peterson. If you get a chance, go onto YouTube and have a listen, it is such a gorgeous piece of music. Be ready to get goosebumps! I have written out the melody with some rhythmic and melodic alterations with chords above to make it easier for people to learn. At some point I would like to add in some of the choral harmony as it is just stunning.

Coming up we have a ‘Torn Curtain’ relaunch in 2019 and for this I have had the task to listen to the tracks and compare it with the score to see if there were any anomalies, it was like being back at A level doing aural skills tests with having to transcribe something I’m listening to and score the notes/rhythms down if they didn’t match. That was a task and a half, it was good fun and got me working my aural skills brain again which was good. I really enjoyed it actually! Quite looking forward to the relaunch, the music is lovely and pieces that I haven’t heard for a long time.

In the office, as well as battling with Sibelius: getting it installed, paid for and running was a massive task….5 hours later and I was able to use it. As you may be able to tell…I am rubbish with technology. Roger uses loads more tech than me, e.g. sorting diaries out, he’s on his phone and I’m on my lovely paper diary…. I have been answering the phone more and taking some orders which, I was very nervy about (The phone still makes me jump out of my skin when it rings). 

I have been working on making a promo video of ‘Pharisee’ for people to view if they are thinking about doing the musical and it gives them a little taster of what the music looks like and seeing some stills of the original cast in action.
On Friday night, we had a great time at Alison Fuggle’s evening based around her new poetry book ‘With all the Trimmings’ and songs which she wrote lyrics for. We had a brilliant team on for the evening, and even though we didn’t get chance to have a rehearsal for the pieces, it went very smoothly. The team are so talented and a joy to work with, I managed to sight read flute music and transpose on sight looking at the clarinet part for harmony and also sight-read the alto part for some chorus sections (of which I haven’t seen for a while!)  Good sight-reading test!!!
However outside of CMM I have been keeping myself very much out of mischief, I am playing Flute 1 and Piccolo for The People’s Orchestra, leading a Sunday school session, learning the Oboe, teaching the Saxophone, looking around Universities for PGCE Courses for next year, volunteering at foodbank and volunteering in school…

How I have managed to fit everything in is a miracle. School is going brilliantly, they are using me in any way they can, helping me get experience in every possible way to assist getting onto a course next year. The children are just so wonderful, don’t get me wrong they do test patience every now and again, but they make it up to us haha… it is such a joy to be working with them and the teachers, they have been so, so helpful and kind to me. I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.

I also took the time to visit Huddersfield, assist in ‘Yeoman of the Guard’ by singing in the wings, got to catch up with some of my brilliant friends, tutors and the community choir there and sorted out my computer at uni… I do miss Huddersfield, but I’ll be a regular visitor.

So as far as I can think…that is pretty much my month summed up into 1000 words… I’m nothing but consistent πŸ˜‰.
God Bless you all xx




Friday, 23 November 2018

Post-Cyprus report part 1

The team have returned from Cyprus buzzing about all the Lord has done while they have been out there.  We would like to thank you all so much for your prayer support for this mission - it really has made a huge difference.

The performance in Ayia Napa was first.  Peter Day and the Gatehouse Singers based in the town were the bedrock of the choir, and they did a terrific job.  The CMM soloist team of Ann, Yvette, Bill, Devon and Paul were joined by a Larnaca-based singer, Claire (who also was hosting Ann and Yvette for the visit).  The team worked really well together and Claire fitted in perfectly.  The Ayia Napa town hall is really quite big, and although it wasn't completely full, there was a really good audience supporting the evening.

The following weekend saw the team help lead the worship at Larnaca Community Church, and then hold a performance of Rock there the following day.  Claire had trained the local choir, and the church was packed out with people from lots of different cultures and age groups for the performance.  Roger's comment was that it felt like a matinee performance, but in the evening!  It was noisy but great fun.

After Larnaca the team headed to Paphos for a performance at the UKCA centre there.  The choir had been trained by Jane Roberts, who seems to divide her time between Cyprus and the UK!  She did a wonderful job - so good the choir paid to fly her over specially for the performance.  It was a packed house again, and the team (holding 'Finding your place' leaflets) had some great conversations and there was a good amount of prayer ministry.

The next day was Mick's (CMM trustee and Cyprus support extraordinaire) birthday and the team celebrated with Mick's Cyprus friends, before preparing for the final performance in Limassol at the ICF church there.  The Limassol section of the choir had been based at St Barnabas' church, but this performance was the massed choirs version, and singers came from across the Island.  The wonderful performance at Limassol was rounded off beautifully by the team sharing in worship at St Barnabas' Church the next day.  In the afternoon they had an incredibly special follow-up event called 'Working in the Father's Business'.  Over 30 people gathered and spent time learning about moving in the power of the Holy Spirit together.

We praise God for such an exciting visit, and we pray for all those who have been touched by the Spirit through the different events.
Devon at Ayia Napa

Ann, Claire and Yvette at Ayia Napa
Waiting for the performance to start in Larnaca
Devon and Paul in Larnaca
The amazing Richard at work in Paphos
Jane working with the Paphos Choir
Praying for Bill as part of the drama

ICF performance, Limassol

A well-earned meal out

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Jail Break - Set Free!

Ford Open Prison
We were delighted to hear from our good friend Jane about a recent performance of Jail Break at Ford Prison just outside Littlehampton in West Sussex.  This is the story:

"I regularly go into the prison to play piano for their Sunday evening service.  There are usually about 20 men there - it is good to play for them and to talk to them and hear their stories.

"Back in July we put on Jail Break at our own church - we had prepared for weeks and the performance went really well.  As we were working on it I thought that perhaps it would be something the men in the prison would like.  I asked, and the chaplain applied for permission.  It was passed, so long as we didn't call it 'Jail Break'!  After some conversation with Roger, we decided to call it 'Set Free'.

The chapel in the prison
"We took the same cast and choir into prison as had performed in our church, all except Quintus who was on holiday - my husband George took the part on instead.  We weren't able to have the wow factor of the previous performance like the smoke machine we used for the Jail scene, but we did have some lighting, the backing tracks and a PowerPoint presentation.

Instead of the usual 20 men, I was blown away to see 50 or 60 of them in the audience - I'd never seen the chapel so full.  And they loved it - they clapped and cheered, and in the poignant scene when the demonised girl was set free the atmosphere was electric.

At the end the chaplain gave a really good talk and appeal and we were able to pray with some of them.  A few more are coming to chapel on a Sunday evening now, which is amazing.

On my first Sunday visit after the performance some of them came and spoke to me asking if they could put a choir together for Christmas.  Sadly because of red tape we haven't managed it, but we're hoping to get something going in the New Year."


We are so thrilled to hear about how the musicals are being used. Praise God for all he is doing!