Thursday, 1 July 2010

Cumbria Tour: Kendal

On Friday 14th May, a team from CMM travelled up to Cumbria for a tour with the musical Wildfire. It was our first tour in this style - we had been invited by Churches Together in Cumbria to perform Wildfire at several different locations in the area over a week as a kind of mission/encouragement to the churches. When this was originally planned, Carole Marsden (regular CMM associate) was the CTiC district officer, and although she finished that role when having a baby, she was still heavily involved.

There was a wonderful vision for this tour - a picture of Cumbria ringed by fire - the fire around the edges of the county working their way in. In the past so many of the big Cumbria Church events have been in the centre of the county - Windermere, Ambleside, Keswick. This tour instead visits the places around the edges.

Our first venue on the tour was Kendal. This was a completely new venue to us but the choir trainer wasn't - Pam Dent. We've met Pam on a few occasions at music weeks and on tour as part of the Penrith choir. The Kendal choir were joined by a few other singers from Penrith and Grange, but on the whole the choir were new to us - and they were excellent!

On the Friday evening we had a rehearsal and set up time. We had some wonderful sound engineers in Sandy and Beth from Sedbergh, who were also involved in prayer coordination for the whole tour. It was great to have them on board with us. The rehearsal went well, enabling the team to bring in a bit of drama to the performance - figuring out where it is best for Stephen to die and be dragged off to etc. Roger also had to give each choir on this tour a crash course in slow-motion stoning - it looked really effective once the choir members had all got the hang of pretending to throw rocks and not darts or confetti.

There were also some dancers who had been working really hard for the event - it was 8 girls, and their leader who we could see dancing at the back - a fantastic group.

The Saturday was Roger's birthday, so we made a little bit of a fuss of him with a football birthday cake. We had a free morning and so some of the team spent a bit of time exploring Kendal, then later we had a team prayer time before a short rehearsal. Roger perhaps chose the wrong chair to sit on during team prayers - very old, with equally old varnish... he stuck to it.

We had two performances - a matinee and an evening performance, and we were thrilled by the turnout at both. There were excellent narrators too - who we used again at the finale at Carlisle Cathedral. A scary moment occurred in the performance when Mike made his entrance as Paul's Pharisee henchman - looking terrifying in his hoodie...

There were also some familiar faces among the audience - a lady called Tanya who used to work in the CMM office, another lady who used to be in EBRG and lived in Hodge Hill right near the office, and Keith Harris - one of our music week regulars. It was also great to have Mike and Barbara Rowarth join us to help with the prayer team as well as Brian, who was representing Wholeness Through Christ.

Huge thanks to Pam and Carole and all at Kendal who made such a wonderful day possible and looked after us exceptionally well.

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