While Roger, Annie and another CMM team were in Bristol (see the Rock blog), Helen went to Wollaton Road Methodist Church in Beeston in Nottingham for Jairus' Daughter in a day. The day was organised particularly by Helen's dad Chris, who is a Methodist Minister, with lots of help from her mum Viv with advertising around the churches in the circuit.
Helen's team for the day included Richard Harvey, who took the part of Jesus, Felicity Norris, who led a dance workshop, and Miriam Gray (Helen's sister) who played clarinet.
It was a fantastic afternoon workshop, beginning after lunch. There were over 40 in the choir, and 4 excellent dancers. Very few of the choir had heard the music before, and they learnt it incredibly quickly. One of the worries of the day was finding soloists who could cover the woman, Jairus and child's parts. Thankfully the worry was squashed pretty early on with some excellent volunteers, including the 4 young dancers who together sang 'Jesus, friend of little children'.
It was great having Miriam on clarinet. She was really on team to help if anyone should have brought their instruments. Although no-one else brought an instrument, there was plenty of opportunity for Miriam to shine and be the centre of attention - there are quite a few long instrumentals in the musical, so the audience could look at Miriam playing rather than the conductor!
The dancers did an amazing job. Felicity worked with the four girls on the two songs which include 'You've turned my weeping into dancing for joy'. The dance they learnt in just a few short hours was fantastic. Felicity also added a couple of extra solo dances - firstly in song 4 'If I can just touch him' where the woman is debating whether or not to approach and touch Jesus. She then continued into song 5, which mostly consists of a long instrumental where the woman touches Jesus and discovers that she has been healed before the choir join in and sing 'If with all your heart you seek him, you will surely find him.'
The performance itself went well until technology got in the way! The connection between the laptop and the sound system seemed to break down a bit, and cut in and out. Two breaks in the middle of the performance sorted it out though - thankfully Felicity had brought with her some powerful speakers to go with her laptop.
A lovely extra dimension to the musical was provided by our 4 narrators, who told the story through the eyes of 4 bystanders. The audience was much bigger than expected, and it was a great occasion.
The following morning Helen preached at the church for the annual Girls' Brigade and Boys' Brigade parade service. As Jairus' Daughter was originally written for the Girls' Brigade Centenary in 1992, it made an excellent link between the musical on Saturday with church on Sunday. The Boys' and Girls' Brigades learnt all about how to 'Seek, serve and follow Christ'!