Friday 10 February 2017

Encouraging emails

Over the past few months we have had some lovely letters and emails letting us know what you are getting up to.

In June we received this email from Andrew:

Dear Roger,
I’m writing to invite you as a special guest to the world-premiere of Bluebeard the Musical next week at the Quarry Theatre, Bedford. There are two performances both at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th June.
I first fell in love with musicals back in 2003, when I was on an Oakes Camp in Sheffield with you, singing David. Following on from this, you asked me to play trombone on Jailbreak, you may remember me! That was about 11 years ago! I wrote my first attempt at a musical Jonah the Musical in 2004 and this was very much with your music in mind. Since then I have concentrated mainly on my trombone playing but I have always wanted to write a full-scale musical, and in my current job as Musician-in-Residence at Bedford School I was asked to do just that!
Bluebeard the Musical is based on the French fairytale of a rich landowner (with a bright blue beard!), who's previous wives have all unfortunately made a widower of him and we join the story when he is on the hunt for his next wife. The cast is made up of 54 Y4-8s and it will be accompanied by a professional live band.
It would mean a great deal if you could make it for one of the nights, as your music was a huge inspiration for me on my musical journey.

Sadly Roger was unable to attend, but Annie did go instead and she was very impressed indeed with Andrew's composition and the enthusiasm of the students.
We also received this message from Ray:

Dear Roger,
I have just returned from hospital, having had a knee replacement. During my few days in hospital I had the opportunity to read Roger Jones Musical Man by Graham Allan. I brought the book when we had a recent 'Praise and Cakes' evening at Belmont Road Baptist church, Hemel Hempstead. This was led my Sarah Moreton,conductor of 'Joyful Noise' ecumenical choir who have enjoyed singing your musicals for some 20 years.
Reading the book enabled me to focus on something other than my knee. As I read the following were some of the lines of text that shone out to me :-
p118 ....Come Holy Spirit......
p133 .......God looks at us and says '' You are beautiful to Me ''
p151 From Jail Break 2005. '' What must I do to be saved ''
p158 From Two Sisters and a Funeral. '' I am the resurrection and the Life '' and
Martha says '' I believe that you are the Messiah,the Son of God ''
p159 Annie Routlley during a EBRG prayer time said ''Worship is giving God our full attention ''
p163 Roger said ''Working as part of a team has always been vitally important to me in my ministry ''
p218 Roger ''The healing and forgiveness ethic is something that we as Christians have got that I don't think anybody else has ''
During my time at home recovering I delve into the book and continue to find more gems.
Thank you for being you. What a joy it has been to sing in your musicals, to experience the Holy Spirit and the Love of God. So thank you for sharing your love of music and especially the Love of GOD.

We also received this message from Eric following on from a performance of Saints Alive in the Weston-super-Mare area:

Dear Roger, Annie, Helen and Team,
I’d just like to thank you profoundly for all your wonderful support and service that we received while putting on “SA” at St. Mary’s Church, Hutton.
It was a huge success on all fronts. I felt that the Lord was with us all the way; the 35 singers that turned up to form the choir and the new friendships and fellowship which flowed from that; forming the instrumental ensemble went brilliantly with a superb accompaniment come the day with only one full rehearsal! We enjoyed a really enthusiastic and appreciative audience/congregation who sang their socks off when needed!! We were so blessed to have Peter and Jane Perrin on board, who guided me around “Roger’s Way” as we went along!
I must thank Helen for sending out odd vocal scores at ridiculously short notice as people joined in – again – legendary service! Excellent!!..............ooooh, I think Tim sorted some of that out as well – Thank you Tim!
......and thank you Roger for writing so much accessible and passionate music – especially new melodies for old hymns!!! So much appreciated. One of the members of the audience was heard to say at the end – “I think I am becoming a Christian!” That says it all, really!
So.......thank you, thank you, thank you all again!! I am determined to get to one of the Workshops/performances in the near future – it will necessitate a thorough “hoovering out” of the diary but it will be done!

We also received these lovely comments about Worship Works:

Our mutual friend, Graham Allan, has requested that I set down by way of report the response of the Parklands House Group to our study of the book “Worship Works”, described as a book for Groups, Choirs and Congregations. Our group in its make-up embraces all three, in that we are regular congregational worshippers, not a few are members of a Choral Group which sings regularly in various worship services, and we meet once fortnightly for study ten months of the year. Last year we adopted Worship Works as our course book.
Allow me to say that without exception most of the group on opening the chapters declared “What can we get out of this?” Equally, most agreed that once we got down to the knitty gritty and looked at core issues in the chapters, we found it both helpful and challenging. In most Cases we found common ground as we examined the whole question of worship, discovering afresh our own response (good and bad) in attitudes to worship and our contribution, as a whole, to worship. We found this area very challenging.
Of course there were surprises on the way ie how deep-rooted singing and music was both in Old and New Testaments. We were familiar with some but our understanding increased somewhat as we explored more deeply the place and contribution of hymns/songs/instruments in the worship in the Temple and Early Church.
Chapters four through to seven, were particularly helpful and challenging as we looked at prime motives and reason why we gather together for worship. How we prepare ourselves to receive and contribute as the worship progresses.
The subject of ‘preparation’ came across strongly, not only for those taking part, either in Choirs/choral/preaching/listening resulting in discovering that preparation in all aspects was both essential and beneficial to all participants. Responsibility does not lie solely with the Leader/preacher/organist/choir master/mistress, but a combined effort of all concerned with the worship. Consider yourself part of the family was very apt ! Good relationships, a sense of belonging to the family came through strong and clear.
The group found the chapter on The Magnificat particularly helpful, exploring the various aspects of acceptance and unconditional love by a loving and faithful God.
In conclusion: The emphasis on the presence and work of the Holy Spirit was both challenging and helpful. Taking time to be holy, allowing the Spirit to challenge, change and revive us in preparation and in the worship itself as we praise Him and as St Paul says, grow in him being rooted and grounded in Him.
I was asked by the group to say that on the several occasions when ‘humour’ was included it was greatly appreciated.

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