We are grateful to Steve Phillips for the following report on a great day of ministry by the Band.
After much anticipation the day had come for the Motorcade! With the inclement weather during the week, you could have been forgiven for thinking that the rain could well have rained on the parade! But God is faithful in answering the many prayers and the sun shone as the mercury on the thermostat rose!
With so much happening as the day unfolded we shall try & offer a brief synopsis weaved within the following lines.
The first port of call was to lead the meeting at Strood Corps, where Adrian firstly introduced the band then straight into the song ‘Eternal God, unchanging’. He then spoke briefly of how divided and indeed “troubled” the world is at the moment particularly in these times of change, but Jesus offers peace no matter what the circumstance!
Tom (Still) then lead a time of prayer followed by Ryan taking the theme of Psalm 143 v 8 (see below) where he invited two of the young members of Strood to help him. He had one blindfold the other & guide them towards a destination whilst still blindfolded….trust! He then urged the people to trust in Jesus in the same way as the person being lead. That whilst we may not see what is in front us Jesus will guide us! (Show me the way I should go for to you I entrust my life)
‘Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life’ (Psalm 143 v 8 – NIV)
The band played ‘Simply trusting every day’ and then Steve spoke of life jumping through hoops and that we always seem to be jumping through them. It seems that as soon as you get through one, you then have to jump through another, examples such as preparing for University, health issues, bereavement, exam results, finding a job and changing jobs. He spoke of his friends in the band who have had to jump through many hoops during their life – indeed all manner of things- but Jesus helps us as we jump through the hoops of life.
Martin (Davis), Ryan (Cripps), Chris (Boughton) and Adrian (Horwood) then sang a beautifully peaceful and reflective rendition of “He leadeth me”. The theme of the Motorcade was set! – He and He alone leads us!
Ray (Maycock) then went out somewhat on a limb and threw open the invitation to the room to call out a request, ‘Send the Fire’ was by far the winner and the band obliged in a powerful and uplifting way. The band followed this by playing ‘Faithful God’ which lead us nicely into Rosemary (Steadman Allen) picking up the thread of the theme and sharing from Psalm 27 as well as 2 Kings and the story of how despite overwhelming odds having been attacked and outnumbered, God showed through Elijah the prophet in many ways. The best known is where he saw chariots of fire from Heaven, that God was with them in the midst of all, so try not to fear as God has a plan and not to worry about tomorrow but deal with what is in front of you today.
The last two pieces from the band where ‘Leave God to order all thy ways’ and I’ll go in the strength of the Lord’. The meeting at the hall closed with a short benediction, a swift swig of tea and short walk to Angel Corner in Strood for the first of the two planned Motorcade open air outreaches. The band played a couple of tunes, prayed and shared scripture as some of the Corps engaged with passers-by, offering War Cry and Kids Alive to those who would like one. It was a blessing to see and hear the Gospel being shared in Strood town centre
A quick whizz down the motorway to Sheerness Corps was soon in hand as everybody gathered their instruments and set off, traffic on the M2 caused a slight delay for some – Somehow Dave and Jane (Haystead) were the last to leave Strood but one of the first to arrive at Sheerness – must have been one of them chariots of fire they were driving!
We all slowly started to arrive at Sheerness Corps in dribs and drabs and enjoyed a first class Buffet lunch, teas and coffees laid on by them which was enjoyed and appreciated by all and very welcome. This time proved a perfect opportunity for fellowship between ourselves and our friends of Sheerness Corps and the hall bustled with activity, conversation, banter and laughter….There was indeed Joy in The House!
After a walk along The High-street we arrived at the spot where the meeting was to take place. As the band arrived and started to set up, small pockets of people stopped to see and ask what was going on, this provided a perfect opportunity for conversations in the warm sunshine as they watched on.
Chris spoke of the free gift that God has offered through Jesus, as he handed out free sweets to all who passed by. Martin shared some of his testimony and what his faith means to him and the Corps officer at Sheerness Corps (Lt Rebecca Zund) shared with the crowd about God’s protection and shelter. That some people seek protection in things like money and love but they all run out eventually but God’s love and protection will never end so is therefore the ultimate protection for life’s ups and downs! Rebecca used umbrellas and confetti as props, which all added a splash of colour to proceedings.
Steve played a “swing style” version of The Old Rugged Cross that was a real crowd pleaser with plenty of foot tapping and swaying along as he played, which also brought many people out of the nearby pubs to come see and listen, another good time to have a chat and engage with everyone as was the contribution by The Timberallas, which many found almost mesmerising as they pondered how on earth they remembered the whole routine! During the pieces being played by the band Sheerness and Chatham Corps members handed out balloons, copies of War cry and Kids Alive whilst engaging in some really interesting conversations and sharing the Good News!
The hour was up almost before you knew it, so it was back to the Hall, another quick swig of tea, pack the cars and off to our next destination which was East Peckham Corps. An interesting journey, for me at least, I did see some nice countryside though and I now know where Maidstone Corps is, ready for Sundays Installation of our new Divisional Leader, so hey, every cloud!…say no more!
Upon arrival the sun was still beating down. We were made very welcome and enjoyed another truly fine spread with tea coffee and cold drinks, we all sat for a rest with a drink and something to eat, once again enjoying the fellowship with all of the East Peckham Corps and one another.
The Band started proceedings with ‘Bognor Regis’. This was the same at all of the other venues and then Ray gave a brief introduction followed by some rousing pieces played by the band. Greg (Davis) then shared his knowledge of the area which included the first person to have been caught speeding, and Carl (Woodman) shared some of His testimony and spoke of a piece from a book that he was reading on his commute and the way in which God spoke to him through the words of the author.
Adrian played a beautiful solo piece which, I am sure, blessed many people.
Once again, the Timberalists mesmerised the congregation with their skill, albeit in a slighter more confined space, but they managed without causing any personal injuries!
Then before you knew the day was done! Our thanks and farewells said and we all returned home for the evening!
I am sure that I speak for all of the band in extending our sincere thanks to Strood, Sheerness and East Peckham Corps for their support, hard work and hospitality throughout the day.
If you are reading this as a visitor to our site, you are most welcome! You can find out more about us, Strood, Sheerness and East Peckham Corps at the following:-
Chatham (with Strood) Corps – www.chathamsa.org.uk
East Peckham Corps – firstname.lastname@example.org