Thursday 14 April 2011

Two Sisters in Sheffield

The end of a busy week saw a CMM team travelling to Sheffield for the fourth Two Sisters event in 8 days.  This Sheffield event was organised by John Mellor, ably assisted by his wife Margaret.  The church, St. Peter's Ellesmere, is an Anglican/Methodist partnership in a very poor area of Sheffield.  It stands like a beacon on the hillside, and it was wonderful to be able to take part in mission in the area.

John had held one rehearsal prior to the event, in which he and Muriel Stonehewer divided the choir up and took sectionals.  On the day itself the choir was supplemented by quite a few singers, but having the core of those that were already familiar with the material made a huge difference.

The CMM team for the day were Devon (Lazarus), Martin (Jesus), Helen (Martha), Ann (Mary), Richard (baddie), Pete (baddie) and Marilyn on flute.  We hadn't seen Marilyn since the Rock Symphony Hall finale, so it was wonderful to work with her again.  She had the chance to experiment with Annie's special instrumentalist arrangements, and it worked well.

On the Saturday we all worked really hard - Roger and Helen led sectionals, and the choir were excellent.  It was interesting to meet some of the members of the choir, who came from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures.  John had been tirelessly inviting everyone he met to come and take part in the day, whether they were Christian or not.

The same was true for the audience in the evening - the church was absolutely packed out - standing room only. There were Muslims, a Buddhist, some non-Christians, a former president of the Methodist Conference, and lots of faces familiar to CMM such as the Hopkins clan, Sally Rhodes and Liz Tipple to name but a few.

It was a wonderful day - thanks so much to John for his tireless energy.  After the performance half of the CMM team went home, but Roger, Helen, Devon and Ann remained to take the service at the church the following morning.  It was a wonderful service - the congregation were so hungry and ready to worship.  Ann led a praise block, and as soon as we started the first song percussion instruments came out, as well as flags.  Roger spoke once again about the More Than God, with a focus on Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and quite a few people came for prayer.  People chatted after the service for a really long time.  It was wonderful to be part of it all.

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