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!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Roger's November eNews


Hi Folks – It’s November, Christmas is coming, and there’s lots to tell you about!

This week we start our CYPRUS tour, with productions of ROCK:
  • Fri 09      Town Hall, Agia Napia - 1900
  • Mon 12  Community Church, Larnaca - 1900
  • Wed 14  UKCA, Paphos - 1900
  • Sat 17     ICF, Limassol - 1500
We really value your prayers for this exciting and challenging mission.

The CMM Choir soon start their series of WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED productions:
  • Sat 17 Nov - Marston Green Baptist Free Church 1800
  • Sun 25 Nov - Church of the Redeemer Edgbaston 1830
  • Sat 01 Dec - St Thomas’ Aldridge 1830
  • Sun 09   Dec - Ward End Elim Church 1800 

Fri 23 Nov - WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS - AN EVENING WITH ALISON FUGGLE at St John’s Harborne - 1930
Alison reads extracts from her new Christmas poem book and we sing some of her lyrics set to music by CMM - All welcome! Admission free!

You can help CMM whilst buying your Christmas presents. Our Catalogue has many suitable items:

You can also support for CMM 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

HEART & SOUL (6-8pm every Wednesday on South Birmingham Radio) is going well and we’ve now done over 25 programmes!  We still meet folk who  either haven’t got around to listening to it yet, or think it doesn’t reach their area.  It’s internet based (not FM radio) so you can get it anywhere via PC, Smartphone, etc.  We really do need your support and encouragement, so please tune in: https://southbirminghamradio.uk/
- or on an “app” like Simple Radio .
If you miss a programme you can “catch-up” on MIXCLOUD .

Keep in touch and bless you all!

Roger Jones

Friday, 2 November 2018

A Mission in Cyprus

Roger works with the Gatehouse Singers in 2012
Roger and a team from CMM are shortly going to be travelling to Cyprus for a special mission using the musical Rock.  It is really amazing how in recent years God has opened the door for us to visit the island and spend time ministering both to local people and British ex-pats. We are so grateful to Mick Green, one of our trustees, who has been one of the driving forces behind this ministry, as he has so many friends and contacts on the island.

There were a few connections that enticed Roger into first taking a trip - one of our associates was on holiday in Limassol with her family and went to St Barnabas' Church and was amazed to hear a CD of Two Sisters and a Funeral playing in the Sunday School.  Then two vicars on the island - Simon Holloway and Derek Smith completely independently invited Roger to visit.  And to complete the puzzle, Peter Day and his Gatehouse singers in Ayia Napa were about to perform From Pharaoh to Freedom.

The local student choir and Jesus soloist with Yvette in 2013 in Famagusta
In 2012 Roger had a sabbatical and Mick convinced him to go to Cyprus as part of it, and on this 'holiday' visit he ended up leading a worship seminar, leading worship in two churches and preaching in a third, as well as hearing the Gatehouse singers rehearse and networking with clergy.  This then led to an invitation for a CMM team to travel to the island for a full mission with the musical Two Sisters and a Funeral in 2013.  This visit also inspired Roger to write the musical 'Barnabas'.

The priests in the Limassol performance in 2013
November 2013 saw a CMM team made up of Roger, Mary, Yvette (at very, very short notice), Helen, Devon and Mick travel to Larnaca, which was to be their base for the next 12 days for an extensive programme of performances, workshops and services across the island.  There were Two Sisters and a Funeral performances in Larnaca, Famagusta, Kyrenia, Limassol and Nicosia, as well as evenings with Devon in Paphos and Ayia Napa and worship workshops in Paphos, Limassol and Larnaca.  The team even divided up with Roger taking a group to lead a service at Larnaca and Helen taking another group to Ayia Napa.  We used some local soloists to take on the roles of Jesus and the priests, and we also had a wonderful local stand-in for the Mary role in Larnaca when we thought our own team member might be unable to come.  It was an incredible whirlwind visit that really fired up the locals to organise and plan a repeat trip, this time with the musical 'Barnabas'.

The 2016 Barnabas team on retreat at the end of their tour
The Barnabas Cyprus mission took place in November 2016 and (thankfully for the team) was nowhere near as busy!  Barnabas was performed in Kyrenia, Famagusta, Larnaca, Paphos, Limassol and Nicosia with a slightly larger CMM team covering all the main roles - Roger, Mary, Yvette, Helen, Bill, Alan and Devon were once again accompanied by the wonderful Mick.

And now, two years later, another team prepares to travel.  This time comprising Roger, Mary, Mick, Devon, Yvette, Paul and Ann, and the musical to be performed is Rock.  Local soloist Claire will play the role of Zillah. Sadly some of the contacts to the north of the island have gone a little cold, but there will still be performances in Larnaca, Paphos, Limassol and Ayia Napa.  Please pray for the team and all those organising and publicising on the island.

The massed choirs performance of Barnabas in Nicosia, 2016
There have been so many wonderful friendships made across the island, and we have been so blessed by the love and hospitality.  Particular thanks go to Sue and Richard Fairhead their hospitality and for all Richard's hard work with PA, Deb and Geoff Graham with their organisational skills, Jane Roberts and the many other choir trainers, the Lange family for their hospitality and friendship, Sue and Derek Smith and Simon and Pauline Holloway for starting things off, and Terry and Jean in Paphos.  Sorry for all those missed out in this paragraph - it really has been a team effort!






Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The Intern's Tale part 2 - October 2018

Hi folks,

So, I’ve now been working as an intern for CMM for a month now which has completely flown by! They have kept me extremely busy… I’ve been set various tasks in the office and been sent on five events which have been really fun.

I have been composing/arranging a new Choral version of God is our shelter and strength, which I am still on task with, creating new harmonies for the choir and a more detailed piano score. I have done composing before, but I haven’t done it for a long time, so it is certainly challenging me 😊.

I had a great time creating a new Spotify playlist of my favourite CMM tracks which originally Helen asked for around an hour, but by the time I had created my list, and put it into Spotify it came out at just over two hours…but because I have done all of Roger’s musicals…doing just an hour would have proven quite hard, but it gives you all a great long playlist to listen to!

Annie and Roger also gave me a challenge of running the CMM choir rehearsal the other week. I have taught choirs before, but never a full rehearsal. I was extremely nervous but rose to the challenge. Roger was there, which made it even more nerve wracking, but once I got started and the choir became used to me, I felt a bit more comfortable. We managed to get through quite a few tracks in detail, and sing them with more confidence which made me feel better as I knew then that my teaching had paid off well. Since then, I have taught the choir a few more times and I felt a lot better, now know how the choir works better and in one of the songs I taught, they managed to get the rhythm perfect, which I was so proud of! Annie was very shocked and amazed that they all did it! XD.

As well as doing God is our shelter and strength, I have done transpositions of a new song Roger wants to do and some clarinet parts for Simeon and Songs of Christmas. Alongside that I have done a music video for the music week at Abbot Hall in Grange-over-sands which is now uploaded onto YouTube, I hit difficulties with getting the pictures to change on the beat and also for them to be on screen for a good length of time. It all worked out and is up and ready for public viewing on CMM YouTube channel.

I also had the extreme pleasure of being invited to an EBRG meeting. Where the members prayed for me and asked the Holy Spirit to come upon me. It was a lovely evening, even though I was nervous as I’ve never really done much of that before, it was such a blessing as I got many messages from God and had a conversation with Jesus which was both very difficult but eye opening. They are all amazing people and I feel so blessed to be here this year.

As you can see, they have kept me insanely busy, which is good! Haha.

In addition to all the CMM office stuff, I went on the five events, which I helped prepare instrumental music and book stall items. The first one I went on was a musical in a day with Annie doing Jairus’ Daughter. I played in the orchestra along with six others, playing saxophone, clarinet and adding in harmony in other instrumental parts. I love Jairus’ Daughter, it’s one of my favourites. The next event I did was a church service, playing clarinet for, although I am used to playing in church and improvising, I hadn’t done much improvising on my clarinet as I am used to playing flute but due to medical reasons I cannot play flute for a while, so I didn’t have much of an option. After a couple of songs, I settled into it but it was really quite challenging…

The next CMM event was an evening service at a retirement home, with Roger doing some interviews for his Heart and Soul radio channel. This was a lovely evening, everyone there was really nice and welcoming, they were lovely to talk to. It was also interesting to see how Roger does his interviews and how it all fits in with the service, what sort of questions he asks and how he responds. It was really interesting to hear from the interviewees.

The penultimate event I went on was a Musical Man evening with Roger and a team in Dunstable, we rehearsed during the afternoon with two choirs, team and then fitting it all together. I helped prepare music for this, as it was a bit of a mixture of stuff that we were doing. It was a long afternoon and a really good evening. One of the team interviewed Roger and seeing that was really helpful to see the structure of how everything works and fits in with the interview questions and the music around it.

The last event I went on was this weekend just gone, I travelled down to Welshpool with Annie and met up with a massive team for lunch when we got there. There was a super choir and a massive team for the orchestra, we did Jairus’ Daughter again which I loved! Even though I only did it a couple of weeks ago, it was all new because we had such a different set up of people. I played a lot more saxophone this time during the day, as we had clarinet, flute, trumpet, violin, cello and guitars covered. I did say we had a big team…so when I wasn’t on sax, I added some harmony lines in from the clarinet and flute parts, so bit of transposing needed… The performance was brilliant as was the service on the Sunday morning. It was a seamless service, they have taken on board a lot from when CMM were last there, like the praise block. It was a big, bright open space and the atmosphere and spiritual feeling was fantastic. All in all, one of the best weekends I have done with CMM.

So, as you can see I have had an extremely busy month with CMM. I’ve still got a lot of things on a to-do-list ready and waiting for me…

I will catch you all up next month with all that I get up to in November…. It is already looking quite busy, but I love being busy so…

God Bless you.

Gemma Collins



Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Music, Worship and the Holy Spirit

The Autumn 2018 newsletter for ReSource - http://www.resource-arm.net/ has come out, and Roger has written an article!  Here it is:


MUSIC, WORSHIP AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

As a teenager, I played the organ for midweek sung Evensong.  I learnt how to play the 'Mag', 'Nunc', creed, versicles, responses, and many more Anglican peculiarities but it was all very superficial. Then someone told me about the need for a personal relationship with God through Jesus, by turning to him and inviting him into my life. When that happened, I experienced and appreciated a whole new expression of church music, including 'choruses' (not to be confused, as I later learnt, with worship songs)!

In my first encounter with evangelical Anglicanism, tempered with mild charismatic renewal, I saw the role that music could play in worship. I also began to study the New Testament and soon discovered that so much of present-day church in the west compares poorly to the church of the Acts of the Apostles. So, a passion for renewal was birthed within me, and the desire to encourage Holy Spirit renewal was at the root of the call in 1985 to full-time ministry and became the aim and heart of Christian Music Ministries.

For the past 40 years I have written musicals, psalms, hymns and songs, which have been a resource and teaching-tool, creating the environment for churches and individuals to encounter the living God. Music enables us to teach Bible facts and at the same time experience the presence of God. It’s not quite an original quote, but 'Music reaches the parts nothing else can reach'.

When the Spirit moves God’s people usually sing! This seems to be the pattern in the revivals of Wesley, the crusades of Billy Graham, right through to the growth and explosion of worship material through the charismatic renewal of the 60s-90s. There are excesses and failures in all this, where worship music has become a large industry and sometimes an end in itself, thereby blunting the original aim. Nevertheless, music, and other creative arts such as dance, drama, poetry, painting etc remain vehicles for expression of the incarnational life of the Spirit.

Living things always evolve, usually with change and decay, so renewal must always constantly be renewed. The hymns and forms of the past have a vital role in preserving and evaluating our heritage, but some things need to be laid aside, whilst we assess the new expressions. Wesley and others wrote great hymns, some of which serve us well today, but there are also many that have validly been confined to posterity. And maybe more should be! 'Here today and gone tomorrow' is not necessarily a negative epitaph, for the main consideration should be "What is the Spirit saying to the church?", the realisation of which demands an ongoing exposure to the Spirit.

St Paul’s injunction to "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18) precedes the instruction "speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs", the latter of which specifically requires an ongoing life in the Spirit, an intimacy with God that will most likely be fluid and informal.

Christian music is essentially functional rather than aesthetic or educational, and certainly must not be there in preservation of a specific culture or tradition! Whether it be Handel or Hillsong, Rutter or Rend Collective, good Christian music will be that which facilitates a two-way communication, revitalising the relationship between believers and the Lord. When Jesus spoke to a woman at a well he revealed a profound truth: "God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Church without music is almost unimaginable, but church music without the power of the Spirit is bound for failure. However, when Spirit and Truth combine, we have a church that perpetuates renewal and resource, a foretaste of heaven itself!

Roger Jones

Friday, 12 October 2018

Roger's October eNews

Hi Folks

Sorry I’m late with my October news. It’s been very hectic and productive at CMM recently. Annie has done lots of Musical in Day events (see previous blog post), Helen has just led a similar day and led worship at a conference, and I’ve recently done lots of individual gigs as well as the regular “Heart & Soul” shows. It’s wonderful to have had so many opportunities. Just look at our DIARY to see what’s gone and what’s coming up!


Next weekend (20-21 Oct) CMM are in two places:
  • ROCK - Pulborough, Sussex - Roger and team 
  • JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER – Welshpool - Annie and team 

For further details contact the CMM 0ffice (01527 576440 or office@cmm.org.uk)

Looking ahead to Christmas, we have many things to share:

Do see our full colour Summer Newsletter for details of upcoming events, diary, publications, etc, well into 2019.

HEART & SOUL (6-8pm every Wednesday on South Birmingham Radio) is going well and we’ve now done over 25 programmes! We still meet folk who either haven’t got around to listening to it yet, or think it doesn’t reach their area. It’s internet based (not FM radio) so you can get it anywhere via PC, Smartphone, etc. We really do need your support and encouragement, so do tune in: https://southbirminghamradio.uk/

- or on an “app” like Simple Radio .

Bless you all!

Roger Jones

Friday, 5 October 2018

Annie's busy month

It's time for a bit of a love-in for our Annie.  She has had an incredibly busy month!  First of all she spent Saturday 15th September training the choir at Weston-super-Mare for their performance of Wildfire with Roger on the Sunday.  Then she travelled to Eccleshall in Staffordshire to lead a Wildfire-in-a-day event at Holy Trinity Church on the 23rd.  Then on the 29th she was at Cricklade United Church for Jairus' Daughter-in-a-day.  What a busy few weeks.  She's looking forward to having a weekend off!

Anyway, on her travels she has had a great time and received some wonderful feedback:

"Thank you for guiding us through “Wild Fire” & for your patients (sic). I really enjoyed taking part & it was great fellowship." (Chris from the Eccleshall event)

"We had a great day again with Annie on Sunday, this time preparing and performing Roger's 'Wildfire'! We do appreciate Annie and the rest of the talented team travelling to Eccleshall to teach, guide and support us! Please pass on our thanks again to everyone. I have spoken to quite a few people since Sunday: the feedback from participants and from those who came to see the performance in the evening has been very positive. What a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day! It always amazes me how we manage to put on a very respectable performance after only a few hours learning the musical (a testament to Annie's skills and patience!). Audience members were so impressed!" (Hazel, Eccleshall)
"Just a quick note to thank you for the super day which you led here in Cricklade last Saturday. The production of Jairus Daughter was much enjoyed by the audience and the choir. It is always a pleasure to have you and the other members of CMM with us for a day such as this. It has become a highlight of our Church year." (Mary in Cricklade)


Annie in action at Cricklade

As with all of our musicals in a day, huge thanks go to the CMM associates for coming along and singing or playing instruments.  This time a particular thanks goes to Jonathan Chappell who was at both Eccleshall and Cricklade, and will be travelling to Bingham with Helen this weekend!

Friday, 28 September 2018

Celebrating a 60 year friendship

On Sunday, Roger is leading a special service at Grenfell Baptist Church in North-East Birmingham to celebrate 60 years of friendship with Phil Pattison.  Helen asked Roger a few questions about it:

How did you first meet Phil?

Phil Pattison and I were at junior school together.  We were in the fourth year juniors together, ten years old, and we developed a friendship because we both supported the Blues in football.  I even remember having a little fight with him on the corner of Repton Road!  We went all the way through senior school together - Alston Boys, often in the same class often sitting by one another.  At age 16 he went off to do an apprenticeship with work and I went off to do A Levels, so we lost touch.

How did you meet again?

I met a crowd of Christians at sixth form and became a Christian. It was either first or second year I was a Christian we went carol singing evangelistically with Grenfell Baptist.  We prayed, "Lord, which block of flats shall we go and do?"  You see, blocks of flats were warm and had good acoustics!  People used to answer their doo
rs with money and we would surprise them saying we didn't want money, but invite them to church on Sunday and for Christmas.  Lo and behold one of the flats was answered by Phil.  He said to me that he wouldn't normally have answered the door and left it to his parents, but this time he opened it and we got chatting.  I invited him to church and he said yes, but as it happened he couldn't come that Sunday  He did come at Christmas and got such a welcome he stuck at it, joined the youth group, made a commitment to the Lord and was baptised.

I guess then you were in the same young people's group?

It's not what it looks like!  Roger and Mary with Phil and Jane
Yes.  He met Jane through that and got married before me and Mary.  I played for his wedding (so he tells me) and then he was best man at our wedding.  We kept in touch ever since - there was a bit of a gap when we moved on to different churches, and when we got in touch again he'd become an Anglican and so had I!  Eventually he became church warden.  It's been wonderful to have that friendship.  120 years - 60 years each!

Tell me a bit about Sunday morning.

On Sunday we're going to take the service back at our old church - Grenfell Baptist Church.  It's very small now in a mostly Muslim area - a very difficult place to do church, and a few of our friends are coming.  Some we knew have died, and the church has shrunk but we're looking forward to it.  I'm preaching and Phil is leading.  The minister we both knew from all those years ago, Edwin Boddington, is going to be there.  I taught his son the organ!  We both left when he was there for different reasons, but effectively he released us and we're going to feature that on Sunday.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The intern's tale part 1 - September 2018


This month we welcome Gemma into the office as our new intern.  We're really excited to be working with her.  In her first blog she introduces herself:


Hiya folks, my name is Gemma Collins and I am excited to say that I am going to be working with the amazing CMM this upcoming year. As well as working in the office I'll be going to both CMM choirs and assisting where needed, and also doing volunteer work in 2 different Primary Schools to gain some more experience with how they run things as well to keep me busy :D

I am originally from Barrow-in-Furness and for those who don’t know where that is, it’s a small town in the nook and cranny of Cumbria/Lake District…Very, very different from living here…although interestingly I am the only one out of my entire family that is a true original Burrovian (and yes, that’s how us northerners pronounce it ha-ha)!

My first encounter with CMM was at a time that I can’t remember. Roger and the team have known me since I was around 3 or 4…Over the years my family and I have been involved with countless CMM events, either in Cumbria, Birmingham or wherever they have been around the country. I think I have done all but 2 or 3 of Roger’s musicals, and most of them at least twice each. For those who know me won’t believe this, I used to extremely shy about playing my flute or singing on my own when I started. Although with help from Roger, Annie and Helen over many years I was able to grow in confidence and even learnt how to improvise. Through these years I found that music was my passion, I wanted to pursue it and help other people like they have helped me.

I went on to study music at The University of Huddersfield, I loved every minute of it, and after lots of hard work and all-nighters, I graduated from University with a 2:1 in July this year! :D

I found that before I carried on with education that I wanted to learn more from CMM; how they organise events, how it works form a business point of view, I hope to learn about the running of choirs, the behind the scenes work, to be able to grow my confidence in speaking in-front of a crowd and to arrange music for gigs. 

I am very much looking forward to this year, I have been here less than a week and I already have lots of tasks to keep me out of mischief for a little while haha…

After this year I would like to train as a Primary School Teacher in a Specialist Needs School, with the aim of using my music to help them learn and grow, although I would also like to start my own choir in the future with peripatetic teaching on the side.

Working with CMM is going to be fantastic, they are my family and I am so grateful to God that this has happened, and I get to spend quality time with fantastic people.
This is going to help towards next steps and my future!
I am very excited!!! XD xxx


Friday, 7 September 2018

Roger's September eNews

Hi Everyone – Christmas may seem a little way off, but choir trainers, ministers, organists, etc, will already be working on the seasonal programme. So, a reminder of CMM’s Christmas musicals: 

AWAY IN A MANGER
SIMEON
STARGAZERS
THE INN CROWD
WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED

I passionately believe in the value and purpose of these works to encourage, reach and teach, and they are all available from our CMM site, (music books, recordings, etc) as well as on Kindle, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, etc.

Do see our full colour Summer Newsletter for details of upcoming events, diary, publications, etc, well into 2019.

There is also our CMM EVENTS FACEBOOK page, which lists our activities and encourages you to comment, etc.

This month we have a number of exciting things in our Diary:
08-14 Sat-Fri JAIL BREAK MUSIC WEEK
Sidholme Hotel, Sidmouth, East Devon (Roger & team)
Ring 01395 515104 – there may still be places left!
15-16 we WILDFIRE – Weston-super-Mare (Annie & Roger) 

23 Sun WILDFIRE – Eccleshall (Annie) 

29 Sat JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER - Cricklade United Church (Annie) 

30 Sun Roger preaching at Grenfell Baptist, Ward End 1030
with Phil Pattison – this is the 60th Anniversary of Roger & Phil’s friendship!

Our HEART & SOUL radio programme (6-8pm every Wednesday on South Birmingham Radio) is going really well. We hope you listen to it live, but you can catch-up on Sound Cloud or via the CMM Blog. We play lots of varied Christian music and welcome a whole array guests with amazing stories.
Those using iPhones, Smartphones, etc, can also use the Simple Radio app.

Bless you all! 

Roger
Roger interviewing Paul Nash at Heart & Soul

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

What must I do to be saved?

The article below comes from a leaflet that accompanies the musical Jail Break.  At the end of the performance this is ideal to give out to people enquiring about how to become a Christian or what the gospel message means.


What must I do to be saved?

By Peter H Lawrence
Illustrations by Drew Snell

Paul and Silas are in prison praying and singing hymns at midnight despite having been flogged a few hours earlier. 'Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken - the prison doors flew open - and everybody's chains came loose.' (Acts 16:25,26)

The jailer knew he would be executed if the prisoners escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself, when Paul shouted at him 'Don't harm yourself! We are all here!' (Acts 16:28)

In the middle of the night, immediately after the earthquake, there would have been mess, confusion and darkness, but Paul's shouts achieved their aim. The jailer lit some torches, took them outside and then asked the big question:
'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' (Acts 16:30)

Undoubtedly the jailer was asking about how he could save his own skin, physically. Now that the prisoners were all free he'd basically had it but Paul, the gifted evangelist, is not going to miss an opportunity like this.
'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,' replies Paul, giving a spiritual answer to a physical question.

Having been told to believe in Jesus he then listened to Paul and Silas who told him all about Jesus. He was then baptised and filled with joy. Later Paul and Silas voluntarily returned to jail so that the jailer was not executed but became a member of the new Christian church in Philippi. If we want to
know what we have to do to be saved the answers are all in this story. (Acts 16:16-40)

Believe in the Lord Jesus
Jesus created the earth. (John 1:1) He became flesh by being born at Bethlehem, lived a perfect life, died, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven from where he sends the Holy Spirit to his followers and where he is preparing a place for all who love him. One day Jesus will return to judge the world.

In short - Jesus is Lord.

It is a lot to take in so you may need time to think about it or read the story in the New Testament first before deciding if you can believe in Jesus Christ as Lord.

Be baptised in the name of Jesus
The stream where the jailer was baptised is still there, just outside the ruined city of Philippi, but anywhere will do. There are three aspects of baptism to consider:

a) Washing clean for the forgiveness of sins.
'All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23) so we need to say sorry for our sins and turn from them if we are to be saved. Symbolically the waters of baptism portray the willingness of God to 'cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9), made possible by the death of Jesus on the cross. (Romans 5:8)

b) Dying to self.
We go under the water in baptism to show our willingness to die to self. Jesus said, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.' (Matthew 16:24). This means putting Jesus and what he wants before me and what I want.

c) Rising to live for Jesus
As we rise from the waters it is like Jesus rising from the dead. We rise to new life, to live for Jesus, now and in all eternity.

Be filled with joy
Jesus was 'full of joy through the Holy Spirit' (Luke 10:21) and Paul wrote about 'joy in the Holy Spirit' (Romans 14:17).

Baptism is symbolic but being 'filled with joy through the Holy Spirit' is what actually happens when we become Christians. The Spirit of Jesus enables our spirits to be born again. (John 3:6,7) to experience the forgiveness of sins, (Acts 10:43) and to call God Father (Romans 8:15,16).

After the jailer was baptised he was 'filled with joy' (Acts 16:34) and after we baptise people in the river beside our church we always lay hands on their heads, on the bank, and ask God to fill them with joy in the Holy Spirit.

Join a Church
After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. The jailer was now one of the 'brothers' and would need the encouragement of the church to go on being a Christian in a difficult world, and to serve Jesus in it. So do we.

If you are not saved, or not sure if you are saved and would like to be sure, you might like to pray a prayer like this one:
Lord Jesus I believe in you.
Thank you for dying for my sins.
I'm sorry for the things I've done wrong and the good things I have failed to do.
I choose to follow you whatever it costs.
I ask you to come into my life by your Spirit as Lord and Saviour,
and to help me live for you. AMEN.

Then celebrate! Have a party. Invite your friends round for a meal and tell them all about it - especially Christian friends who can introduce you to a suitable church where, if appropriate, you can be baptised.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Why Spirit Works?

In 2019 the majority of our weekend bookings are for Spirit Works days. You might think it strange that we have published this book and lead days about life in the Spirit. Helen explained why in her preface to Spirit Works, and we thought you might be interested to read about it here:


Why Spirit Works?

Or to put it differently, why are we, a Christian music organisation, writing a book about the work of the Holy Spirit?

Worship and the Holy Spirit go hand in hand. Psalm 22:3 is a verse that expresses this beautifully for me:
“Yet you are holy; enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (NRSV)
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (KJV)

On a couple of occasions I have been blessed with a picture or feeling of the Holy Spirit enjoying our worship, dancing and swirling around with incredible exuberance. God inhabits the very praises of his people, and this is beautifully summed up in a simple worship song by Paul Kyle:
And as we worship, build a throne; come, Lord Jesus, and take your place.

John 4:23 says that true worshippers will worship in Spirit and in truth. And in Ephesians 5:18-19, the apostle Paul writes that we must sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, but only after he first exhorts us to be filled with the Spirit.

Sung worship lifts up our hearts, increases our expectancy, shifts our focus, and changes the atmosphere. As we set our minds on the praise of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, if we let him, can come and move, dance, alight, fill, heal and restore. As a music ministry we need to write this book as an affirmation that we believe that music isn’t an end in itself, but a catalyst, a vehicle. On a number of occasions I have been present in a celebration where at the end of the praise time the Holy Spirit has moved in great power, causing plans to be put on hold and speakers to wait their turn. It reminded me of the consecration of the temple in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14:

“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang:
“He is good; his love endures forever.”
Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.”

It would be irresponsible for us as a ministry to encourage you in leading worship that brings people into a place of openness to God, and then to leave you without the tools to know what to do when you get there.

In 1981 Roger released his musical ‘Saints Alive’, written about Pentecost – the birth of the Church. This musical was the first to contain a time of improvised praise, or worship in the Spirit. Over the years this ‘Planned Spontaneous Happening’ slot within a musical has developed, and in 2005 the musical ‘Jail Break’ included the first ‘Planned Prophetic Happening’. This is where a soloist is brave, and sings out over the audience and choir what they feel God is saying for that very moment. We have been so blessed by all the Lord has sung during those times through very ordinary people that we would hate for others to miss out. So as the musicals are printed and released for the general public to use as they please, we pray that this book will accompany them, helping many people to take the risky step of incorporating time for the Holy Spirit to take centre stage in their performances.

Roger's August eNews


Hi Everyone – I’m a bit early for August but we’re off to start our Lee Abbey music week on Saturday.

Our full colour Summer Newsletter is now published.  It includes details of upcoming events, diary, publications, etc, well into 2019.  If you’d like a printed copy (or indeed a handful to put out at your church) please contact the CMM office.

We’ve now released two new  CMM publications:
These are available online, but you can also ring CMM to place an order:  01527 576440.

As well as on our web site, most of our musicals, books, etc, are now published on Kindle, and all of our recording are on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.
 
Our HEART & SOUL radio programme (6-8pm every Wednesday on South Birmingham Radio) is going really well.  We hope you listen to it live, but you can catch-up  on “Sound Cloud” using this page of the CMM blog.  We play lots of varied Christian music and welcome a whole array guests with amazing stories.

We have two more CMM music weeks to come after Lee Abbey, open to all ages, abilities, singers, instrumentalists and listeners:
  • AUG 19-25 (Sun-Sat) Willersley Castle, Cromford, Derbys (01629 582270)
  • SEP 08-14 (Sat-Fri) Sidholme, Sidmouth, East Devon (01395 515104)
I believe there are still a few spaces left on these weeks.

Annie is leading an APOSTLE in a day at WestWakefield Methodist Church (with live instruments) on Saturday 11 Aug.  More singers are very much welcome, and if you want to watch the performance it is at 6pm.

Bless you all!

Roger Jones

Friday, 20 July 2018

Heart & Soul

If you want to listen back to the Heart and Soul back catalogue, look no further.  Here are some Mixcloud links.

Roger has become involved in a local radio station.  The station isn't limited to the Birmingham area though - it is an internet radio so you can listen in anywhere!  Roger, along with CMM favourites Simon Gudger and Debra Mayo host the Heart & Soul show on Wednesdays from 6-8pm.  The first half of the show is usually a pre-recorded interview with all kinds of interesting people such as Jonathan Viera and Bishop Graham Dow.  The second half is live in the studio with the team chatting to a variety of local guests.  All of the chat is interspersed with a variety of Christian music.  Do tune in if you get chance, and follow the programme on Facebook.

The last few shows are up on Mixcloud, so if you want to listen again, you can do so here:

12th September features an interview with Dave Fellingham, and then the team welcome childrens and families worker Trish Nesbett.

19th September - Roger interviews Alison Fuggle, poet and lyricist about her life and her new Christmas book 'With all the Trimmings'.  In the second hour Roger and Debs share more music and chat.

25th September - Roger shares his interview with hymnwriter Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith.  In the second hour Simon and Roger chat to four girls about to go to Peru with BMS.

3rd October - Roger interviews the wonderful Emily Owen about her experiences becoming deaf as a teenager and about her work as an author.  Then in the second half of the programme the team talk to Nicole Robinson-Edwards about her work with Kids Klub Kampala.

10th October - Roger interviews soprano Anne Linstrum for the first hour, and then in the second week the focus is on Baby Loss Awareness week with moving interviews and conversation.

17th October - Roger interviews Jon Pocock and then the team talk about dementia with Sue Hallcroft.

24th October - a moving interview with Ruth Aylward and her mother Sally Rhodes about worship and mental health, followed by in-studio chat with Dick Rogers - clergyman, GP and parliamentary candidate.

31st October - Roger interviews Gordon Bailey about his life as entertainer, and then Roger and Debra chat about Halloween and how we should respond to it as Christians.

7th November - Roger interviews guitarist Paul Poulton about his life and ministry, and then for the second half of the show the team chat to Nick Jones, Methodist Minister in South Birmingham.

Roger's July eNews


Hi Everyone – it’s July already and I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful summer weather! 

This Saturday (07 July) we lead SPIRIT WORKS (teaching and ministry in the power of the Spirit) at Rhos-on-Sea URC, North Wales 10am-4.30pm.  I know it’s the England match, so we’re proposing a total ban on phones and information during the day, so we can all go back and watch the recording.  No excuse not to come!  Contact office@cmm.org.uk or ring 01527 576440 for details, or just turn up! 

The CMM Choir have started their series of performances of ROCK (the story of Simon Peter). Productions still to come are:
  • Sat 07 July - St Germain's Church, Edgbaston - B16 9TD (1900 hrs)
  • Sat 14 July - St John's Church, Harborne - B17 9PT (1930 hrs)
  • Sun 22 July - George Road Baptist, Erdington - B23 7RY (1800 hrs)

Following a wonderful JAIL BREAK week in Grange, Cumbria, there are three more CMM music weeks to come, open to all ages, abilities, singers, instrumentalists and listeners:
  • JUL 28-04 Aug (Sat-Sat) Lee Abbey, North Devon (01598 752621)
  • AUG 19-25 (Sun-Sat) Willersley Castle, Cromford, Derbys (01629 582270)
  • SEP 08-14 (Sat-Fri) Sidholme, Sidmouth, East Devon (01395 515104)
Good numbers already booked, but room for more, especially at Willersley and Sidholme.

We’re releasing two new  CMM publications:
  • ROCK (story of Simon Peter) Bible Study for House Groups, by Simon Cooper - brilliantly written, and ready to use with your group, or to start one.
  • WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS – Alison Fuggle’s new collection of Christmas seasonal poems.
These are not yet available online, but you can ring CMM to place advance orders:  01527 576440.

Finally, Rachel Haddon, our lovely intern who has just left us, has produced a wonderful photo sequence of my special birthday event, featuring ROCK with an orchestra of nearly 50 and a choir of 200.  She has excelled herself, and it’s well worth a look !
 
Bless you all!

Roger Jones

Christian Music Ministries
24 Spadesbourne Road, Lickey End, Bromsgrove B60 1JP
Tel: 01527 576440

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Month Ten in the Life of an Intern

Read Month One (September)
Read Month Nine (May)



So this is it – my final day in the office and my final blog post. It all seems to have gone so quickly. 

June however has been quite busy, with a few gigs in the diary. The first of these was a weekend in South Wales with Helen who was leading Greater than Gold in-a-day. The Saturday got off to a great start with some parkrun tourism at the Gnoll Estate Country Park, and once we were all showered and clean we headed to the church to get ready for the event. I was playing oboe parts that I had created in the preceding weeks in the office by mashing together sections from the flute, clarinet and alto sax parts. It was rather a warm weekend (which in general was a good thing!), but unfortunately this played havoc with my reeds, so it was a bit stressful as I felt like I was fighting my oboe the whole time, but the choir and soloists did an amazing job – hats off to Helen, as the event was actually a 'Musical in-an-afternoon', yet she still managed to teach them the whole thing, and to round the day off, the performance was well appreciated by the audience. On the Sunday morning, Helen preached (very well) and the rest of us took part in the worship. The team were then treated to a lovely roast dinner cooked by Helen's mum to set us up well for the journey home! 

The following Saturday, I travelled to Kidderminster to be part of the team for a Musical Man evening with the New Life Together choir. The choir had been superbly trained and there was a large audience who seemed very responsive to Roger's testimony of God's work in his life. 

One of my office jobs this month has been to create a video of photos from Roger's 70th birthday bash in Tamworth which is now live here on the CMM Youtube channel. If you were there, see if you can spot yourself! I have also proofread the new files for the Simeon vocal score, which will be going for reprint soon. 
As my internship draws to an end, so does my time with the CMM choir. At the start of this month, I was asked to lead a rehearsal with each choir. I was pretty nervous, particularly as I hadn't led a full rehearsal with the East Birmingham choir before, however everybody survived so I guess it must have been okay! One of my lasting memories will be the incident from that week involving a rather large spider at the West Birmingham choir and the effect that it had on the front row of sopranos! Unfortunately, I have only been able to make it to one of the choir's performances of Rock, however I was very honoured to receive some lovely cards, gifts and well-wishes from the members and committee – it has been a pleasure to be part of the choirs and I very much hope that we will meet again in the future. 

As this blog post draws to a close, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone I've crossed paths with during my time with CMM – I have met some truly lovely people. I'd like to give especial thanks to Roger and Mary for taking me on, to the office staff for being so welcoming, providing me with lots of jobs to do and coping with my aversion to making tea, to all the associates I have met who have made me feel so at home when on team, to the couple I have stayed with over my office days for keeping me wonderfully well fed and watered and to the people who have given me lifts to and from stations and rehearsals. It has been a real privilege to be part of CMM this year and to have the opportunity to explore different aspects of music and faith, and the ways in which those are so closely intertwined. I am planning to stick around on the associates list so very much hope to see many of you again at some point, but for now, it's goodbye from me. 

Love, 
Rachel
xx



Sunday lunch in South Wales!