Last week Roger, Mary, Annie, Helen and Sally (with Karl and Molly) travelled down to Lee Abbey near Lynton in North Devon. The Lee Abbey music week has become a regular fixture on the CMM calendar, and it was great to be there once again. This year the house was full, and the musical to be performed was Snakes and Ladders. Helen trained a 50-strong choir, as well as a small children's choir, and Annie looked after a nice big orchestra which contained 2 violins, 2 cellos, 2 flutes, 2 guitars, a bass guitar, drums, an oboe, a trumpet, a french horn, a soprano sax, a djembe, and a clarinet for two of the songs, as well as Annie herself on piano.
The week began with flapjack, and then after dinner a lovely evening session led by the Lee Abbey team. The evening included singing, puppets, videos and games and got the guests mixing really well. On Sunday morning the Lee Abbey team led the morning service, which was really different. After some time together in the Octagonal Lounge, the guests were spread all over the building to engage in different activities such as intercession, confession, adoration - some of which involved art, others reflection and discussion. The culmination of the service was a time all together where we sang another song, and then had a special blessing for Roger and Mary as this was the date of their 40th wedding anniversary. Communion was then shared in the dining room around tables just before dinner.
On the Sunday evening CMM led a sing-through of Snakes and Ladders, and then the music week began in earnest with our pattern of worship followed by Bible teaching, ministry, coffee and then the choir and orchestra rehearsals. Roger spoke on various themes surrounding covenant for the week. The evenings were generally led by the Lee Abbey team, with an international evening, the annual summer show, and a communion service. There were also workshops every afternoon, during which Sally led some amazing dance and drama, Annie led a 'running a worship group' seminar, and we also held a Seasons and Reasons session.
By the end of the week we were ready to put the musical together, with choir, orchestra, soloists, dance, drama and narrators. It was hard work but went exceptionally well in front of a packed house.
So huge thanks go to the host team for all of their support, as well as the pastoral helpers Sarah and Val.