On Saturday 18th October Annie, Jonathan, Linda and Simon had an early start, and travelled to Caersws Chapel near Newtown in Mid Wales to help lead Apostle in a day.
This is Annie's report on the day:
It was a really good day at Caersws – about 35 in the choir, and although they only expected a tiny handful of people to come for the performance, actually we had the place absolutely packed. I’d decided to do it in the hall where we had rehearsed, not go into the chapel, and we put the audience around tables, like cafe church – which was appropriate, as afterwards we all had a slap-up tea together. It was hard work for me, as apart from the ones who had come over from Welshpool and Arddleen, they were struggling to pick things up. But by the performance, everyone really enjoyed it. I encountered something I’ve never met before in 20 years with CMM – the men couldn’t read music notation – apparently in Male Voice Choirs in Wales they all sing from tonic solfa. Happily, I was able to help them from time to time if they couldn’t get a passage by saying ‘doh, lah, soh’, etc. (And I even remembered from the dark recesses of my mind that a flat 3rd would be ‘maw’ – I hope that was right!)
The team were wonderful – Simon Cooper as Saul, Jonathan as Ananias, and (unexpectedly) Linda Chappell and I as the disciples – Linda also was so helpful to the altos, and she looked after the bookstall as well, and was a real support. The highlight of the day was that the Barnabas narrator Gwyn, who was one of the main chaps on the pastorate of the church, had brought his wife, who’d had a stroke, and she had what she described as her ‘best day ever’. He was weeping openly, and was so full of praise to God for everything we had experienced during the day. Simon gave the word for the day, and I shared several of the pictures we had had at EBRG, at moments I felt prompted to do so. The one Jane gave about the dried fruit soaked in tea and then mixed into a Bara Brith I shared at the beginning, and people seemed delighted that the Holy Spirit had given us a distinctly Welsh word for the day!
Then Annie received this email from Jenny who organised the day:
Annie - just a note, now that we've come down to earth and relaxed! Thank you SO much for a wonderful day... people have been talking about it all weekend, and very appreciative of your skill at enabling them to sing as they did. Please pass on our thanks to the rest of the team, not just for their musical and practical contributions, but also for the prayer support and making it much more than just "singing" but a chance to think about Paul's story and our own lives.
I'm glad we persevered when initially it was hard to sum up people, and I'm glad we listened to your advise about doing it in the schoolroom... that format of cafe Church made it feel as if the "congregation" were more part of it too.
Once again many thanks