Thursday, 20 April 2017

Regular freebies from CMM

Take a look at our website's homepage to play the stream of songs from "Jerusalem Joy". We will feature a different CD here every month.

Download a free mp3 file of our featured song of the month. This April, we are giving away "I met you at the Cross"

Roger writes:

April is nearly gone and I realised I hadn't sent our monthly e-newsletter.  But we're still in the Easter period, and celebrating the reality that Jesus is alive, and that changes everything!  We also want to give you the recording of our song of the month: "I met you at the cross". Download now.

As well as ministering on the Isle of Wight with BARNABAS and at Lee Abbey with WORSHIP WORKS, Mary and I have recently been at Spring Harvest, enjoying wonderful bible teaching and times of worship.  

We rejoice with HELEN & JAMES over the birth of MICHAEL CHRISTOPHERSee what a lovely little boy he is. Mary and I visited them yesterday!

Next week we lead two WORSHIP WORKS events:
25-26 April (Tue-Wed)
Appledore Baptist Church, Meeting Street, North Devon EX39 1RJ at 7pm (01237 424757)
29 April (Saturday)
Stoke St Gregory Baptist Church, Taunton from 10am - 4.30pm (01823 490142)

We're very excited about launching SPIRIT WORKS, and wonder who is going to invite us to lead an event (evening, day or weekend) based upon the work of the Holy Spirit in the church and individuals.  So, for a few more months you can still obtain SPIRIT WORKS at the special introductory price of £7.99:  Order now

Click here to see a PDF of more CMM events

Here's a message from Lindsay Peniston:

We need your Help to Grow our Social Media!
Christian Music Ministries is part of the online technical age so we have a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, a Blog, and our music can be ‘streamed’ from The CMM choir also has its own Facebook page.

We need your help to build up our online network. Therefore, if your church or choir has a Facebook or Twitter page, we would be grateful if you could encourage them to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. In addition to tweeting our own messages, we can retweet appropriate messages from others. If your church is hosting a musical, Worship Works or Spirit Works event, we can also share your information on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Click the links below to visit, 'like' and 'follow' our various social media:

Once again, thank you all for your support and encouragement,                       

Roger Jones

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Roger has a busy few days ahead on the Isle of Wight. It is a very exciting but challenging time with lots to do and great opportunities to spread the word. Roger has just contracted a bit of a cold, which makes things that much harder to do, but he's not going to let such opposition stop us doing what God wants!

Friday         - travel via ferry to Isle of Wight
                  - 1930 rehearsal in St John's Newport

Saturday     - 1500 rehearsal at Ryde Methodist
                  - 1930 production of BARNABAS at Ryde Methodist

Sunday        - 0930 Annie with team speaking at St John's Newport
                   - 1000 Roger with team speaking at Shanklin URC
                   - 1530 production of BARNABAS at St John's Newport

Monday        - Annie, Bill, Caroline, Dave return home
                   - Roger, Mary, Sarah & Devon stay on

"Pray also for me (us), that whenever I (we) speak, words may be given me (us) so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel." (Eph 6:19)

Tuesday       - 1300 LENT TALK at Shanklin URC
                   - 1930 SPIRIT WORKS at Gunville Methodist, Newport

Wednesday   - Roger, Mary, Sarah & Devon return home

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Barnabas in Cyprus 3 - Helen's emails

If you'd like a flavour of the Cyprus tour, here are edited highlights of some of Helen's emails to family, friends and supporters back home.

Cyprus 1

Hi All,

Just a quick message to you to let you know how we're getting on. We landed in Cyprus early on Wednesday evening and then were taken to hosts. Yvette and I are staying with a lovely lady called Jeanette and her husband Adam - we're in a visitor flat attached to her house. She left us lots of goodies in our fridge which is so kind.

Yesterday we had a meeting at the flat where Roger, Mary and Mick are staying. We went through the programme in detail and talked a bit about logistics and also a bit about the spiritual things that are going on here on the Island. It really is the crossroads between Christianity and Islam. In the afternoon we went for a walk along the seafront at Larnaca and then had our evening meal at Alexander's (second night in a row)! I've been very touristy and had a kebab in pitta bread on Wednesday evening, and then moussaka last night!

Today we cross the border between north and south and our tour begins in earnest. We have a performance at the Colony Hotel in Kyrenia tonight - apparently 200 tickets have been sold - please pray that particularly Alan and I remember our words as it is a long time since we have had to perform these parts. We had a couple of runthroughs yesterday.

Then tonight after the performance Yvette, Bill, Alan, Devon and I travel on to the next venue, Famagusta, which is about an hour's drive. At least we can have a lie in!

Two days in the North

We got back to Larnaca late last night after two days in the Turkish north of the Island and our first two performances. The first day was spent in Kyrenia, which is incredibly beautiful and full of white ex-pats from various places. We had trouble getting the van full of PA equipment over the border despite official letters from the hotels who were inviting us to do the concerts and various other bits of paperwork. This meant the initial setup in the hotel in Kyrenia was very frantic when the van finally arrived. But all was just about done in time for the choir rehearsal.

The venue in Kyrenia was on the top floor of a 5* hotel. It had amazing views of the mountains on one side and the sea on the other. Sadly we didn't have much time to explore. The performance went well, and there were almost 200 in the audience.

The team then divided and Roger, Mary, Devon and Mick stayed in the hotel in Kyrenia, and Yvette, Alan, Bill and I travelled on to Famagusta, arriving beyond midnight in northern time, which was an hour ahead of the south. The hotel wasn't up to the standard of the Kyrenia one, but one of the good things about travelling over the night before was that we did have some time to explore old Famagusta, which has amazing walls and fortresses. It is pretty run down, which is such a shame as it could be a really impressive tourist attraction.

The techies had also travelled with us the night before, so setup was much easier. We had a lovely lunch with Justin who is the student chaplain at the uni (the north has a 200 000 local population and a 300 000 student population, mostly Africans) - he had had Bill and Alan to stay overnight and was brilliantly laid back and calm.

We were a bit worried about probable lack of audience at the hotel last night because most of the choir had come over from Ayia Napa or Larnaca, and there aren't really any white ex-pats around in Famagusta, but in the end, the students gradually wandered in, some as late as song 5, and it was a really decent turnout.

We made it back to Larnaca about 11.30pm southern time, and this morning we're heading to Larnaca community church just to be part of the congregation here and then join in the shared lunch.

Performance in Larnaca

The last two days have been good. On Sunday morning we went to Larnaca Community Church and attended the service there. There were lots of familiar faces in the congregation (at least to Devon) and they were very welcoming. After the service there was a shared meal which was epic to say the least. They had expected maybe 50 for the lunch but had well over 100. There was more than enough food to go around, although it took forever for everyone to get served and the noise in there was incredible! We had to keep going outside for a rest. While we were all waiting for puddings Roger had an opportunity to go to the front and share about the musical - many of the choir were in that congregation so he had a good reception.

Lunch finished about 3pm so there was only enough daylight left for a stroll along the front and an ice cream. In the evening Yvette and I had Devon, Bill and Alan round to our flat for some time chilling out. Mick joined us as well, leaving Roger and Mary to rest. We semi-watched the football - it was clash of the titans with Cyprus taking on Gibraltar. Alan and I had vaguely considered heading over to Nicosia to watch in the stadium - perhaps we should have, as we'd have been pretty much the only ones there!

Yesterday we had a lazy morning and went for a short walk next to the Salt Lake which is right by our flat. It was incredibly hot out there. Then we travelled into Larnaca and Bill and Devon helped unload the van into the venue at the Sun Hall Hotel. Alan is struggling with a lot of pain in his wrists, so he tends to be left on van guarding duty! Once Richard was happy with the equipment in the venue we all went to lunch, and then came back in good time for the afternoon rehearsal with the Larnaca choir. We'd seen most of them two nights before in Famagusta, so the rehearsal went very well as there wasn't much to do.

The performance went very well indeed - the room was completely packed out. They kept bringing in more and more chairs, and then people were standing round the sides. Health and safety went out of the window and into the sea! The local organisers I think were delighted with how things have gone so far. Also, I think financially things in the north went well too, which is encouraging for the overall leadership team.

Today is a day off, and it is Mick's 70th birthday so we are having a BBQ at the house where the boys are staying (a family with 5 children at home - should be fun!).

Performance in Paphos
We had a good and restful day off on Tuesday - we had a short stroll by the salt lake in the morning and then had Mick's 70th birthday BBQ over most of the afternoon. It was good to spend time with our hosts, along with the organising team for the tour, as well as some of Mick's other Cyprus friends. In the evening we went down to the seafront again for another stroll and had a coffee.

Yesterday was a much, much longer day. We left fairly early on for Paphos, which is about a 2 hour drive from Larnaca. The venue was the UKCA (UK Citizen's Association) Club about half way between Paphos and Coral Bay. The venue was not the easiest - low ceiling and lots of pillars, but they had once again completely sold out, and there was standing room only by the time we got started.

We had a little bit of free time in the afternoon, so we travelled into Paphos to see the archaeological park - although in the end only Alan, Devon and I went inside - the others went to the seafront. They really missed out. We saw the proconsul's house, as well as some incredible mosaics.

We managed to fit in a good long team meeting too, which was great. The locals seem really thrilled with how it is all going and the team seem to be doing ok.

The choir did really well - the Paphos group had only had two rehearsals because their choir conductor had returned to the UK, so they had learnt it all from the part-learning CDs. They were joined by a few from Limassol, including a group that have come over from Staines.

The performance was different - there were pillars right at the front and to either side of the stage making it very awkward, but the audience seemed to really love it. There were some amazing people there - loads from the UK, including Roger and Mary's great friends the Southgates from Norwich. Roger and Mary had no idea they were coming, and they were utterly delighted.

We have a day off today - we are planning to go to Salamis, and then tomorrow it is the Limassol performance.

5 down, 1 to go!
On Thursday Devon, Mick, Alan, Bill, Yvette and myself travelled across the border to the north again, but this time as tourists to visit Salamis. Yvette and I had already been there, but it was certainly worth a second visit. It is such a shame that there is no continuing excavation there, and probably no attempt has been made to develop or add in any signage at all since the war in 1974.

In the evening, once Roger and Mary were up and dressed (Mary woke up after midday following our late return from Paphos) we all went out for a Chinese meal, which was great.

Yesterday was the Limassol performance day. We arrived in Limassol at lunch time where we shared a lovely lunch with some members of St Barnabas' Church there, including the vicar and his wife, Derek and Sue Smith. They were being visited by a group of friends from Staines Methodist Church, where CMM is taking Barnabas in a couple of months' time. Three years ago we performed Two Sisters and a Funeral in St Barnabas' church, but this time they wanted a bigger venue, so we walked 10 minutes down the road to the beautiful new building of the International Christian Fellowship in Limassol.

Fitting the choir on the stage was a bit of a squash, but the venue itself was lovely and big. The performance went really well, and although there were a few empty seats, the audience was still pretty big and really responsive.

The finale in Nicosia

Thanks for your prayers. We had a good day off in Larnaca on Saturday - a few of us went and had lunch on Richard and Tim's boat (safely moored in the Marina due to high winds) while Yvette spent some time with our flautist Claire, and Roger, Mick and Mary visited some friends who live a little way away in the hills with 12 dogs. Then in the evening we all spent an evening together in mine and Yvette's flat, which was nice and relaxing.

Yesterday we didn't have time to go to church as we needed to get to the municipal theatre in Nicosia. It is a lovely auditorium that seats 600 or 800 depending on who you talk to! Sadly there had been problems with choir and publicity in the city, so we weren't expecting a huge crowd. There were representatives from all of the choirs in the massed choir though, and together the 80+ singers made a fabulous sound.

We had a lovely time praying and ministering with the choir at the end of the rehearsal, and then again just before the performance. In the end there were just over 80 in the audience, which felt very sparse, but they seemed to enjoy it. Among them there were a group of Muslim refugees, so it'll be interesting to hear what they thought of it. It turned into a pretty late night once we had had dinner afterwards, but I guess you could call it acclimatising back to GMT!

Today we are going to a retreat house up in the hills to reflect on all that has passed. I'm really looking forward to it.

Home again

We had a lovely retreat on Monday. We spent time on our own with God, as well as worshipping and praying together. The retreat house, Katafiyo, was lovely - not huge with big grounds, but in the middle of a little village in the hills.

On Tuesday we had a debrief meeting with the tour organisers from each venue. After a little bit of feedback, there was a lot of discussion about what to do next. Essentially the decision made was for the Cyprus team to meet together in early February to pray together and wait on God. It's great they have decided to do that, because from our point of view of a team, it is hard to say yes or no when asked outright, 'So are you coming back?'! So do be praying for the group out there that they are able to keep the momentum and to follow up from the different events in a way that is appropriate and effective.

That evening all of the team except for Alan and myself headed to the military base in Dekalia to watch the dress rehearsal for the pantomime that will start tonight. Alan stayed behind to write his sermon and I managed to do a little more work on Spirit works! It was good that most of the team were able to support some of the choir members in something they were working on locally.

Yesterday we went for one last stroll on the seafront with one of Mick's great friends Erica, and then had lunch with her and her husband Tim, who had come as tech support for the visit to the north.

Then after a huge number of farewells (including tearful ones from the children at Devon, Bill and Alan's hosts) we caught the plane from Larnaca to Heathrow. We were really blessed - we landed a few minutes early, and both collecting our cases and getting back to the cars was quick and smooth.

Barnabas in Cyprus 2 - Paphos video

Our incredible sound technician Richard, along with the wonderful folks in Paphos, managed to film the Barnabas performance there.  You can watch it here:

Barnabas in Cyprus

Our big event in November was a tour of much of the Island of Cyprus!  From the 9th November to the 23rd, a CMM team consisting of Roger, Mary, Helen, Mick, Devon, Bill, Alan and Yvette 'travelled across the whole island' (see Acts 13:6).

Barnabas was performed in multiple locations with wonderful local choirs (and their not-so-local friends!):






Nicosia - massed choirs event

There were also some wonderful highlights for the team - Mick had his 70th birthday celebrations with a BBQ hosted by the Lange family - hosts for Devon, Bill and Alan.

Lange family artwork on display
Mick enjoying Lucas' carrot cake

They also had a wonderful retreat to finish off the visit and a meal out with all of the amazing local organisers.
At the retreat house
Celebration lunch
More Cyprus reporting to come - watch this space!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Encouraging emails

Over the past few months we have had some lovely letters and emails letting us know what you are getting up to.

In June we received this email from Andrew:

Dear Roger,
I’m writing to invite you as a special guest to the world-premiere of Bluebeard the Musical next week at the Quarry Theatre, Bedford. There are two performances both at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th June.
I first fell in love with musicals back in 2003, when I was on an Oakes Camp in Sheffield with you, singing David. Following on from this, you asked me to play trombone on Jailbreak, you may remember me! That was about 11 years ago! I wrote my first attempt at a musical Jonah the Musical in 2004 and this was very much with your music in mind. Since then I have concentrated mainly on my trombone playing but I have always wanted to write a full-scale musical, and in my current job as Musician-in-Residence at Bedford School I was asked to do just that!
Bluebeard the Musical is based on the French fairytale of a rich landowner (with a bright blue beard!), who's previous wives have all unfortunately made a widower of him and we join the story when he is on the hunt for his next wife. The cast is made up of 54 Y4-8s and it will be accompanied by a professional live band.
It would mean a great deal if you could make it for one of the nights, as your music was a huge inspiration for me on my musical journey.

Sadly Roger was unable to attend, but Annie did go instead and she was very impressed indeed with Andrew's composition and the enthusiasm of the students.
We also received this message from Ray:

Dear Roger,
I have just returned from hospital, having had a knee replacement. During my few days in hospital I had the opportunity to read Roger Jones Musical Man by Graham Allan. I brought the book when we had a recent 'Praise and Cakes' evening at Belmont Road Baptist church, Hemel Hempstead. This was led my Sarah Moreton,conductor of 'Joyful Noise' ecumenical choir who have enjoyed singing your musicals for some 20 years.
Reading the book enabled me to focus on something other than my knee. As I read the following were some of the lines of text that shone out to me :-
p118 ....Come Holy Spirit......
p133 .......God looks at us and says '' You are beautiful to Me ''
p151 From Jail Break 2005. '' What must I do to be saved ''
p158 From Two Sisters and a Funeral. '' I am the resurrection and the Life '' and
Martha says '' I believe that you are the Messiah,the Son of God ''
p159 Annie Routlley during a EBRG prayer time said ''Worship is giving God our full attention ''
p163 Roger said ''Working as part of a team has always been vitally important to me in my ministry ''
p218 Roger ''The healing and forgiveness ethic is something that we as Christians have got that I don't think anybody else has ''
During my time at home recovering I delve into the book and continue to find more gems.
Thank you for being you. What a joy it has been to sing in your musicals, to experience the Holy Spirit and the Love of God. So thank you for sharing your love of music and especially the Love of GOD.

We also received this message from Eric following on from a performance of Saints Alive in the Weston-super-Mare area:

Dear Roger, Annie, Helen and Team,
I’d just like to thank you profoundly for all your wonderful support and service that we received while putting on “SA” at St. Mary’s Church, Hutton.
It was a huge success on all fronts. I felt that the Lord was with us all the way; the 35 singers that turned up to form the choir and the new friendships and fellowship which flowed from that; forming the instrumental ensemble went brilliantly with a superb accompaniment come the day with only one full rehearsal! We enjoyed a really enthusiastic and appreciative audience/congregation who sang their socks off when needed!! We were so blessed to have Peter and Jane Perrin on board, who guided me around “Roger’s Way” as we went along!
I must thank Helen for sending out odd vocal scores at ridiculously short notice as people joined in – again – legendary service! Excellent!!..............ooooh, I think Tim sorted some of that out as well – Thank you Tim!
......and thank you Roger for writing so much accessible and passionate music – especially new melodies for old hymns!!! So much appreciated. One of the members of the audience was heard to say at the end – “I think I am becoming a Christian!” That says it all, really!
So.......thank you, thank you, thank you all again!! I am determined to get to one of the Workshops/performances in the near future – it will necessitate a thorough “hoovering out” of the diary but it will be done!

We also received these lovely comments about Worship Works:

Our mutual friend, Graham Allan, has requested that I set down by way of report the response of the Parklands House Group to our study of the book “Worship Works”, described as a book for Groups, Choirs and Congregations. Our group in its make-up embraces all three, in that we are regular congregational worshippers, not a few are members of a Choral Group which sings regularly in various worship services, and we meet once fortnightly for study ten months of the year. Last year we adopted Worship Works as our course book.
Allow me to say that without exception most of the group on opening the chapters declared “What can we get out of this?” Equally, most agreed that once we got down to the knitty gritty and looked at core issues in the chapters, we found it both helpful and challenging. In most Cases we found common ground as we examined the whole question of worship, discovering afresh our own response (good and bad) in attitudes to worship and our contribution, as a whole, to worship. We found this area very challenging.
Of course there were surprises on the way ie how deep-rooted singing and music was both in Old and New Testaments. We were familiar with some but our understanding increased somewhat as we explored more deeply the place and contribution of hymns/songs/instruments in the worship in the Temple and Early Church.
Chapters four through to seven, were particularly helpful and challenging as we looked at prime motives and reason why we gather together for worship. How we prepare ourselves to receive and contribute as the worship progresses.
The subject of ‘preparation’ came across strongly, not only for those taking part, either in Choirs/choral/preaching/listening resulting in discovering that preparation in all aspects was both essential and beneficial to all participants. Responsibility does not lie solely with the Leader/preacher/organist/choir master/mistress, but a combined effort of all concerned with the worship. Consider yourself part of the family was very apt ! Good relationships, a sense of belonging to the family came through strong and clear.
The group found the chapter on The Magnificat particularly helpful, exploring the various aspects of acceptance and unconditional love by a loving and faithful God.
In conclusion: The emphasis on the presence and work of the Holy Spirit was both challenging and helpful. Taking time to be holy, allowing the Spirit to challenge, change and revive us in preparation and in the worship itself as we praise Him and as St Paul says, grow in him being rooted and grounded in Him.
I was asked by the group to say that on the several occasions when ‘humour’ was included it was greatly appreciated.

CMM in Action: October 2016

Once the wonderful Barnabas and an orchestra day had gone by in October, the CMM team settled down to a much gentler month.

On Saturday 15th October, CMM was represented in two places at once.  In London at All Souls Langham Place, there was a special celebration of 50 years since the publication of Youth Praise - a groundbreaking book in its time.  Sadly Roger, Annie and Helen couldn't be part of the day, so we were instead represented by Derek Wade who ran a bookstall for us.  It has been an honour to be linked to the Music and Worship Foundation and Jubilate Group over the years.  We pray for them as they begin a new phase of ministry under the new umbrella organisation: 'Song and Hymnwriters Foundation'.  Huge thanks to Derek.

Barnabas in Lechlade

While Derek was in London, Annie and Roger travelled to Lechlade in Gloucestershire for a Barnabas day.  At Lechlade there was an excellent 40-strong choir, very well trained by Gordon Land.  Unusually the altos, tenors and basses outnumbered the sopranos!  There were also a few singers there from Witney in Oxfordshire, as well as a few in the audience from a church in Swindon where Annie has regularly led musical days.

The CMM team was made up of Bill as Barnabas, Paul as Saul, Dave as John Mark, Caroline as Miriam and Wendy as Rhoda.  We were also blessed to have Marilyn on flute and Cheryl on clarinet alongside Annie on viola.

The performance went very well indeed, and the CMM team stayed to lead the morning service on the following day.  Thanks so much to Gordon and all of his team for their wonderful organisation and support.

Worship Works in Tilsworth

Then at the end of the month Annie, Roger, Jane, Sarah, Eddie, Jenny, Cliff, Julie and Elaine gathered at All Saints in Tilsworth for a Worship Works day.

Annie led worship at the start of the day before Roger spoke about the Worship Seeker.  The afternoon workshops were slightly different for a WW day in that Annie led a special session on Psalms, Hymns and Songs alongside Roger's usual creative worship workshop.

On the Sunday morning most of the team gathered again to lead the Sunday morning service.  It is so good to be able to meet with the full congregation the day after a Worship Works in order to demonstrate so much of what was taught on the previous day.

Huge thanks to all of the hosts who looked after the team so brilliantly - it was a real blessing to come and share with you all.

Behind the scenes

If you're wondering what Helen was doing all this time, she was writing Spirit Works!  But also, she was part of the team preparing to go to Cyprus in November.  This is the team photo following on from a planning meeting:

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Barnabas massed choirs and orchestra day

On Saturday 8th October, over 300 people gathered at the Coton Centre in Tamworth for our special Barnabas massed choirs and orchestra day.  Have a look at the video montage below to see what we got up to!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

CMM in Action: September 2016

Following on from the music week at Sidhome, September was a reasonably quiet month at CMM.  Holidays were taken, and the team began to fill all hours of the day working on the next project - Spirit Works.  There were a couple of road trips though:

Musical Man in Norwich

Annie with the choir
Roger, Mary, Devon, Annie, and Catherine travelled to one of our regular venues - Meadow Way Chapel in Norwich.  There they were joined by Maurice on violin, local instrumentalists, local soloists Irene and the wonderful choir.  This time instead of a musical, the local choir had revisited songs they knew from past performances, and these were combined with Roger's testimony to create a Musical Man evening.

Irene and Catherine
It was wonderful for Roger to be able to share his story at a church he has visited so regularly and who have played such a big role in his ministry.  The team also took the morning service for the church who now meet at the local community centre.
Maurice with local instrumentalists Ann and Andrew

Barnabas in Alcester

Later in the month Roger, Helen and Jane travelled to St, Nicholas Alcester for a Barnabas day, where they were joined by Devon (Saul), Richard (John Mark), David (Barnabas), Katie (Miriam), Yvette (Rhoda) and Christine (Flute).  Katie and her mum Pat had organised the whole day, and Katie had trained up a fabulous choir.  Katie's brother very kindly set up and ran the PA, which was a huge help.

We spent the day rehearsing, and put on a performance in the evening which was really well attended.  It was lovely having Jane on team to share in prayer ministry and support, as well as to dance in the improvised worship times.  It was the first time Jane had fully been part of a Barnabas day as she had been unable to attend the premiere.

One of the more memorable parts of the day was seeing Devon and David perform together as Saul and Barnabas.  Devon had hurt his knee leaving him on crutches, and David is awaiting a hip replacement.  We always had to give them plenty of time to slowly make their way up to the microphones!

Sidholme 2016

Our final music week of the year was at Sidholme Hotel in Sidmouth.  Once again we learned the musical Barnabas and had a great time together.  It was also a real highlight taking the morning service at the local Anglican Church and we were joined by a good number of their singers for each choir rehearsal.  Jane was on team for the first time and took the orchestra, and Helen led the choir.  Helen, Roger and Jane were also joined by Jane's husband George, Dave and Caroline, Marion and Mary.

For possibly the first time ever, we only had one person turn up to auditions, but thankfully she was great, and we were able to twist Rob's arm and he did a fantastic job as Saul.

Huge thanks to the Christian Guild team for looking after us so well, and for lending us your managing director to play cornet in the the final performance!

Here's a montage of all we got up to:

CMM in Action: August 2016

August 2016 was unusually busy for CMM, in that the month began in Lee Abbey, then moved to Willersley Castle, and finished up at Sidholme hotel!

David in Wakefield

In the days immediately before the week at Willersley Castle, Helen and Annie travelled to Wakefield for a special David in a day at West Wakefield Methodist Church.  It was a joy to have quite a big CMM team for the day, enabling us to perform the musical to live accompaniment.

Annie led the 'orchestra', which comprised herself on piano, Alan on drums, Cliff on bass, Marilyn on flute, and Gemma (along with her friend Emma) on clarinet.

While Annie was organising the band, Helen trained the choir.  They did not need much training at all - they read music superbly and picked things up so quickly.  Sadly, Sharon had lost her voice, so we weren't able to use her as a soloist, but Gemma filled in brilliantly, singing solo alongside Barrie and Julie and a couple of local singers whose arms were twisted mercilessly!

It was also a pleasure to work alongside the minister, Kim, who was full of life, and completely insistent that she couldn't sing.  She did take her place in the audience though, and introduced the performance with great enthusiasm.

The following morning some of the team stayed and helped lead the morning service at Horbury Methodist.  Helen led the service and Annie preached.  The church were spending one of their very last Sundays in the village hall before moving into their own beautifully renovated premises.  Huge thanks to Laura who organised the whole event and to our wonderful host Ruth who looked after us so well.

Barnabas Music Week at Willersley Castle

After the morning service Annie and Helen travelled down to Willersley Castle in Cromford, near Matlock Bath.  There they were joined by Roger and Mary, Ann, Barrie and wonderful host Marion for the third Barnabas music week of the year.

We had a terrific week.  Annie led the orchestra which was small but perfectly formed for much of the week - Maurice, Ron and Sally on violin and Viv on piano accordion.  For the final performance they were supplemented by Alan on drums, Helen on flute/trombone, Kevin on cornet and Chris on clarinet and sax.

Helen worked with the choir, who were excellent as ever.  It was great to have so many different soloists to choose from, as well as some brilliant narrators.

Besides the musical and the Bible teaching and ministry, there were a couple of other real highlights in the week.  On the Tuesday evening it was a real honour to be joined by Joe King, a singer-songwriter from Leeds.  Joe had been going through a hard time, so it was great to welcome him and give him the opportunity to perform and minister to the guests.  One of Joe's real strengths is the ministry song - songs that come from God's perspective and speak deeply into people's hearts and minds through the Holy Spirit.

Then the other highlight was introducing the group to some of the new material in the Songs of Christmas that had just been brought out.  We had a lot of fun teaching and singing different songs from the book.

The performance of Barnabas on the Friday evening was to a packed out room, and it went very well indeed.  Well done to all of the wonderful soloists and thanks to the team for working so hard during the week.
The team preparing for morning worship

Anticipation in the room!

Roger starting his talk

Willersley Castle

Helen working with the choir

Maurice, Sally, Ron and Viv

Joe King in action

Roger, Joe and Annie

View one misty morning

Keith and Barrie in action

Some of the choir

More choir

George taking his solo

Joyce taking her solo

Our excellent John Mark

The choir in action

Some of the audience

Almost time to start

The orchestra minus Helen, Kevin and Annie