Chatham’s Corps Anniversary weekend was led by the Winton Songsters from Bournemouth under their leader David Ramsay.
The Saturday evening concert began with worship in the form of ‘God of my praise’ from the Songsters, a strong and vibrant start to an evening of much blessing. Singing Company Leader Sam Grinstead was the soloist in ‘Nothing but thy blood’ before Major Wanda Nichol led in prayer.
‘Stand up and bless the Lord’ was the invocation in the song sung by the congregation before the Songsters brought two songs in contrast, ‘Take my life’ and ‘Let me tell you’, the latter in gospel style. Following a testimony from Jennifer Scales the male voices brought ‘Anthem’.
‘Sovereign over us’, featuring Pauline Bartlett as soloist, brought the first half to a conclusion.
Following this time of fellowship the Songsters started with ‘Alpha and Omega’ and the timbrels performed to ‘Goldcrest’. Victoria Coe brought the solo ‘Somebody’s prayin’ and Chatham Band contributed ‘Stand up for Jesus’.
The final part of the concert was of a meditative nature beginning with the lovely ‘Bow the knee’ Robin Foster gave us his thoughts emphasising that ‘Jesus made a bridge to heaven out of just two pieces of wood’. ‘Blessings’ and ‘ It was finished on the cross’ concluded the evening in the same mode as it began, in worship.
Sunday morning worship followed again the theme of ‘the cross’ and began with the song ‘give me Jesus’ sung by the Songsters and enhanced by descriptive dance by Victoria Coe.
Songs included for the congregation to sing were ‘Saviour, if my feet have faltered on the pathway of the cross’, All that I am, all i can be’ and the John Gowans favourite ‘I believe that God the Father……’. The Singing Company added some lively sparkle with ‘You cn never be too grateful’ and the children’s story featured Jared Littlewood who showed how we can do a little or a lot for the Lord using chocolate as an example and a reward.
Caroline Banning gave a personal testimony and the Songsters contributed ‘Compelled by Love’ to the worship.
The message, brought by Will Coe set a comparison and parallel between the installation of Caesar and the ‘coronation’ of Jesus at Calvary and invited the congregation to take time to consider what this meant for them personally.
The afternoon concert began with ‘The Majesty and Glory of your name’ followed by ‘Your grace still amazes me’ and prayer. The congregation joined to sing ‘Simply trusting every day’ before the Songsters brought ‘Rhythm of Life’ from the well known West End musical Sweet Charity.
Olivia Swansbury gave her personal testimony and Chatham Songsters brought ‘Our God’, a composition from Songster Leader Carolynn Woodman’s brother Andrew Maycock.
Two more songs from the S0ongsters, ‘Amen, tell it on the mountain’ and ‘It’s about the cross’ featuring Fiona Mercer as the soloist, led to the contribution from Chatham Young People’s Band (Sunburst). ‘I know a fount’ preceded a thought from Ruth Brown and two more songs, You are always there’ and More than wonderful’ concluded Winton Songsters ministry. The massed Songsters of Winton and Chatham concluded the weekend with ‘Rock Eternal’.
This has been an interesting weekend of good singing and a portrayal of the Christian message but one is left asking why so little music published by The Salvation Army was used. This is not a criticism because the music chosen was good but it leaves one asking if SA publications are in some ways inferior. Surely not! Readers comments would be of interest.
Once again we are grateful for all who have read this post. Have a blessed week and come back again soon.