During the bank holiday week at the end of May, CMM travelled up the M6 to Kent's Bank, near Grange over Sands in southern Cumbria. Stationed at Abbot Hall, one of the Christian Guild hotels, we held our first full-length family music week of the year. There were over a hundred guests at the hotel, almost all of whom were taking part in our week.
The week was based on the musical Rock, and it was the first time we could use the orchestral parts that have been arranged by Annie. The team for the week comprised of Roger and Mary, Helen, Marion and John Owen (the pastoral hosts for the week provided by Christian Guild), Sharon Collins, Jaime Dawson, Brenda Earnshaw and Carole Marsden. In the absence of Annie, Helen and Carole trained the orchestra, and Sharon trained the choir. Jaime was a great support and help all week on drums, and Brenda played piano for the orchestra, soloist rehearsals and performance.
Saturday - general catch up, lots of chatter among the guests, and then a time of worship and an introduction to the week.
Sunday - After breakfast we had our Sunday morning service. Roger led worship, and Helen preached on the theme of the ascension, but looking forward to Pentecost. After evening meal the group came together into the hall for a sing-through of the musical with the CD.
Monday - Marion and John held morning prayers in the lounge while the CMM team prepared for the morning session. Then Mary led worship and Roger gave his first bible talk of the week. The theme was "I will follow you" - the call of the first disciples. After the bible study session, we had our first choir and orchestra rehearsal - the orchestra crammed into the lounge, and the choir with a bit more space in the main hall. The hotel staff probably found things pretty interesting listening to the different rehearsals coming from different directions! We then had a free afternoon, followed by the dreaded auditions, and in the evening together watched a DVD of Jonathan Viera performing. The teenagers watched Britain's got Talent instead...
Tuesday - On this second morning, Brenda led worship, and Roger's theme was "The look of love". It was quite a moving morning, and quite a few people seemed to be really blessed. We then had another round of rehearsals. Tuesday night was "Grange's got Talent" - and indeed it has - so much so it turned into quite a long evening! But everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and there were some pretty impressive performances from young and old alike.
Wednesday - this was the day off - and typically, it rained and rained and rained. Some managed to go for a trip to Carlisle Cathedral on the train. In the evening we held yet more rehearsals...
Thursday - The final morning's teaching followed Jaime's worship leading. This time, Roger's theme was "A Chosen People". Final orchestra and choir rehearsals went well, and Sharon, Helen and Carole could relax as their work was done. In the evening we held a Holy Spirit workshop, looking at what it means to be "Working in the Father's Business" - teaching people to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. An amazing evening, with people really 'risking it' for God.
Friday - Performance day... Which meant lots of rehearsing in the morning after Sharon had led a worship time. This was the first time the orchestra and choir had come together, which created some interesting logistical issues, but we got there. The performance went really well. We had a lot of people come from outside (and inside the hotel) to watch. The soloists did brilliantly, and the choir, orchestra and narrators were superb. Good fun all round, and there were a lot of exhausted people by the end of the day (particularly Roger!).
Saturday - after breakfast we all said our farewells for another year, and travelled home.