from the Editor ...
Welcome to our double April and May edition of ‘Crosstalk’. This edition covers the season in the church’s year from Easter through Pentecost to Trinity. This part of the Christian story is all about the wonderful events after the joy of Easter Day, so we thought it would be uplifting to celebrate the season by writing about music and dance. Every culture has its own style and history of music and dance. These vary enormously around the world and are the most simple form of expression and entertainment; a free gift from God to enhance the joy of being together. The gift of a beautiful singing voice and the rhythmic clapping of human hands can immediately change the mood of any gathering. Making music together breaks down barriers. It helps us to understand the diversity of the world’s multi-cultural views of God and religion. It’s good to rejoice in other people’s celebrations within their own musical styles and, in the same way, I think we should rejoice in people’s different worshipping styles.
The tradition in this country, long before the introduction of ‘classical’ music, was of folk song-and-dance to reflect and enhance the mood of an event, or simply to pass along stories from one generation to the next. There are lots of opportunities for everyone nowadays to have a go at making music, and there are articles in this magazine from two beginners who are doing just that as late starters. Now that the clocks have gone forward and the warmer weather beckons, I wish you the joy of this lovely season when we can all look forward to singing and dancing our Alleluias together again. With love and God Bless,
The Vicar Writes My country, right or wrong
My grandfather was a cobbler. His cobbler’s shop was in a street next to Dublin Castle - 4 Castle Street. The shop front is still there – T H Barnwell’s. At the end of the street is Dublin City Hall. On Easter Monday 1916 a group of Irish Republicans trying to seize Dublin Castle retreated there, having shot dead an unarmed Dublin Metropolitan policeman, James O’Brien. Within a day the Republicans had had to leave the City Hall because of the intense counter-attack by the British Army but the fighting continued for six days, by which time much of central Dublin had been ruined by shellfire. As a child I remember walking down Castle Street and seeing, so I think, the bullet holes in City Hall. I grew up hearing stories of the “Easter Rising” and of the subsequent history; of executions, of further guerilla fighting, of Irish independence and of the bitter civil war that followed. And of course I grew up through “The Troubles”. My home town, Guildford, was bombed by the IRA and my father drove in that night – I was working in a church coffee bar – and with his gentle Irish accent insisted I go home with him. I only realised later that he was taking a risk, as an Irishman, coming out on to the streets that night… I wonder if this is giving me a different perspective on nationalism. How are we to think and act Christianly when it comes to loving our country? It is not easy to answer this question. The Bible was written before countries – modern nation states like our own – existed. Indeed Jesus’ contemporaries were more likely to think of themselves as either Roman citizens, whatever their ethnic background, or not. And for much of the history of the Church, whilst people were conscious of being, say, English or French, in fact they were more conscious of coming from Durham or Rouen, rather than a whole country. Life was very local. Nation states, as we have come to recognise them, are a creation of only the last few hundred years. And with all the propaganda that goes with them, perhaps a creation of the last 200 years? So this is a “new” problem for human beings and the Church. How and how much should I love and serve my “country”? Can it command my total allegiance – “My country right or wrong”? I imagine very few of us would agree with that often misquoted slogan. [It was said originally, by an American in 1816 after a war against Britain!] But if not that, then how should I love my country? I support Ireland at rugby but England at football! I am proud of being both Irish by birth and English by education. Does that make me a bad patriot? What is a good nationalism? I find myself worrying about this because I see a new nationalism rising in our country and across Europe. I am very worried when this seems to be leading to 3
new intolerances. One of my tests of nationalism is, “does it make me think better of other human beings, or worse?” I am frightened when I hear people using language of “us and them”, especially “them” as if “they” are a different sort of human being to me. That way lies the murderous horrors of The Troubles. [Do not be mistaken, it was nationalism much more than religion that caused those years of conflict.] Nationalism – love of my nation - has killed millions of our fellow human beings in the last 200 years as well as inspiring acts of great heroism and life-improving love. Jesus told us to “love our neighbours as ourselves”. “Simples”, as the Meerkat says. But in reality we often learn our loving in real human communities: our families, our streets, our communities, our … country. In other words, we learn to love by loving those around us, not some abstract other person. (Though when we see on our tv screens other human beings suffering, we still feel deeply. We are all one human family in our deepest and best instincts.) And we often know best how to live by learning from, and correcting where necessary, the traditions of our family, our community, our church, our …country. I am not the product of a vacuum. I am who I am because of my birth and education, as well as my church, and I hope because of God’s moulding of me. So I do think there is something good and right about loving my family, my community, my church, my … country. Almost something God-given about how we are to live as human beings. But only as a positive. Not as a negative. If love of country leads me to love “strangers” less, then it is not of God. On October 12 1915 Nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the occupying German Army in Belgium. She had been convicted of helping Allied soldiers to escape, and of spying. The truth is, I gather, complex, though her execution caused international outrage. But on the eve of her execution she said –and it is on her statue in London – ‘Standing as I do in view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.’ She was a vicar’s daughter. She had learned from Christ. She models good patriotism for us. May we keep her example in mind as we face weeks of fierce and sometimes simply bad political debate.
Rev’d Canon Dr Alan Bartlett Vicar of St Giles’ and Priest in Charge of St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s
Your friend and vicar
Alan Vestry Hours
At St Giles’ if you wish to book a Baptism (Christening) or Wedding, or to have your Banns of Marriage called, please come to the Church on FRIDAY evenings between 6.00 and 7.00pm
Enquiries regarding Baptisms, Weddings or calling of Banns for both St Mary’s and St Cuthbert’s should be made by calling at St Mary’s Vestry on TUESDAY evenings between 6.00 and 7.00pm
Bits and Bobs from the Vicar .... Annual Church Meetings We will include in the next magazine a full list of our new (and returning!) church officers and church council members. St Giles’ APCM is on 10 April… But this is a big “thank you” to those who have served and to those who will serve… Week of Prayer Our Archbishops are calling all churches to a week of prayer leading up to Pentecost (15 May). At the heart of the week of prayer is ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.’ (See the website www.thykingdom.co.uk for more details.) The Archbishops write:
September 2005 and has served with great faithfulness since then. For many years Michael was on duty leading our worship or preaching most Sundays of the church year and I know how much he enjoyed leading services of Communion by Extension. And how much he and his ministry were appreciated. So Michael, (and Joan), this is another heartfelt “thank you”. May you have many happy and restful years of retirement and we will enjoy seeing you sitting together in church. (See also page 11.)
Esther Kisby our Parish Administrator will have moved on to pastures new by the time you read this. Esther has been with “At the heart of our prayers will be words us for three years and in that time has that Jesus himself taught us – ‘Thy overseen really important, if often kingdom come, thy will be done.’ It is unseen, improvements like a proper impossible to overstate the lifetelephone, an up to date computer and transforming power of the Lord’s Prayer. system, and a working photocopier! And It is a prayer that is reassuring enough to on the basis of all this has produced our be on the lips of the dying and yet orders of service and pewsheets and done dangerous enough to be banned in a huge amount of administration, freeing cinemas. It is famous enough to be the clergy to do what they are supposed spoken each day by billions in hundreds to do! So another big “thank you” to of languages and yet intimate enough to Esther and every blessing in the future. draw us ever closer into friendship with Jesus Christ. It is simple enough to be Jan and John Pounder. Jan has resigned memorised by small children and yet as Reader. We are very grateful for Jan’s profound enough to sustain a whole contribution to the life of all three of our lifetime of prayer. When we pray it with churches over the last few years. She has sincerity and with joy, there is no taken a particular responsibility for coimagining the new ways in which God can ordinating the Services of the Word but use us to his glory.” has contributed all across church life with There will be a special service in Durham preaching, leading worship and pastoral care, especially in the area of our Healing Cathedral on Pentecost evening and we Ministry. And to John, who also worked will be publishing ideas for how we may help ourselves to pray more during those for a time as our Parish Administrator, labouring long into the night printing the days in our parishes. magazine on our old photocopier but whose real legacy is the lovely artwork in Staff Changes our church and homes, most especially Michael Bicknell our long-serving Reader the beautiful icon of St Giles’. Again we in Sherburn and Shadforth is finally pray God’s blessing on them in the hanging up his blue scarf (the distinctive future. badge of a Reader). He was licensed in 5
St Mary’s Roof We put a bid in at the end of February to the government Emergency Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund. Our bid was for £92,000 because the initial guidance we have had about the cost of replacing St Mary’s roof was £136,000 (+ VAT). We will get the response by July but in the meantime, PRAY HARD! The roof is watertight but, as the damage in this winter’s storms showed, it is increasingly fragile. Parts of it are over 140 years old. (It should last 100 years so we are doing well!) We are very grateful to the community for their support already which has enabled us to gather over £5,000 towards our contribution to the roof. Watch this space ....
Your last wishes This is not morbid but are you sure that your loved ones know what you want when you die. What sort of funeral do you want? Are there particular hymns or readings you would like? Simply put, do you want your funeral to be in one of our churches? We hear stories of some of older members who have not had this conversation and who seem to “disappear” without us being able to send them on their way to God with love and prayer. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THIS CONVERSATION AND WRITE IT DOWN! And don’t forget the Church in your will. So much of what we now enjoy is the result of the generosity of those who have gone before us… Thank you.
Girlguiding There are groups of Rainbows (5-7yrs), Brownies (7-10yrs), Guides (10-14yrs) and Senior Section (14-24yrs) in the Durham area. If you want to find out more go to www.girlguiding.co.uk
Bereavement Support Group ….still going strong! Death is a natural part of life and grief is a natural response to death. The trouble is that we often forget that. We forget that tears and pain, numbness and all sorts of emotions are really quite normal. When we recognise this we can gradually start living again. This support group, which meets between 10.30 and 12.00 every Friday, allows us to acknowledge the ‘stuff ‘ that comes after a death, to come to terms with it as best we can, and then begin to put one step in front of the other. We have done this in all sorts of wonderful ways….through music, laughter and tears, reading poems, sharing experiences, eating cake, drinking coffee. Last year’s cowslips we planted are just beginning to flower again…..an important sign of hope. We are only a small group of people meeting together but we find it to be a really positive experience. You are most welcome to come and join us. Helen Bartlett
St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s Services in April ....
3 April 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Easter 2 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s John 20. 19-end
10 April 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Easter 3 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s John 21. 1-19
17 April 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Easter 4 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Friends and Family Service at St Mary’s John 10. 22-30
24 April 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Easter 5 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s John 13. 31-35
Regular Activities at St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s Tuesdays 6.00-7.00pm Wednesdays 9.00am 9.30am 6.30pm Fridays 7.00pm - 8.30pm
Vestry Hour at St Mary's Morning Prayer at St Mary’s Holy Communion at St Mary’s Holy Communion at St Cuthbert’s SCUFFS Youth Club at St Cuthbert’s
St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s Services in May ....
1 May 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Easter 6 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s John 5. 1-9
5 May Ascension Day 6.30pm Deanery Service at Finchale Gospel for the day Luke 24. 44-end
8 May 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Sunday after Ascension Day Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s John 17. 20-end
15 May 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Day of Pentecost Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s John 14. 8-17
22 May 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Trinity Sunday Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s John 16. 12-15
29 May 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Trinity 1 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Friends and Family Service at St Mary’s Luke 7. 1-10
5 June 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Trinity 2 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s Luke 7. 11-17
St Giles’ Church Services in April ...
3 April 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Easter 2 Holy Communion Service of the Word Evening Prayer of the Annunciation Luke 20. 19-end
10 April 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Easter 3 Holy Communion Eucharist followed by APCM Evening Prayer John 21. 1-19
17 April 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Easter 4 Holy Communion Sung Eucharist Stations of the Resurrection John10.22-30
24 April 8.00am 10.00am 4.00pm Gospel for the day
Easter 5 Holy Communion Sung Eucharist with baptism 4forAll John 13. 31-35
Regular Activities at St Giles’ Morning Prayer in Church 8.45am Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri - all welcome Holy Communion in Church every Wednesday at 10.00am Little Lights in Church every Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am - 11.30am Bereavement Drop In every Friday 10.30am to 12 noon 1st Saturday in month: Coffee morning 10-11.30am 1st Wednesday in month: Broth & Bun Lunch 12 noon - 2.00pm 2nd Wednesday in month: Mothers’ Union 2.00pm (except July/August) 2nd Thursday in month: Lunch Club at 12 noon at Queen’s Head Last Sunday in month: 4forAll 4.00pm
St Gilesâ€™ Church Services in May ...
1 May 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day 5 May 6.30pm Gospel for the day
Easter 6 Holy Communion Service of the Word Evening Prayer John 5. 1-9 Ascension Day Deanery Service at Finchale Luke 24. 44-end
8 May 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Sunday after Ascension Day Holy Communion Sung Eucharist with prayers for healing Evening Prayer John 17. 20-end
15 May 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Day of Pentecost Holy Communion Festal Eucharist Evensong John 14. 8-17
22 May 8.00am 10.00am 4.00pm Gospel for the day
Trinity Sunday Holy Communion Sung Eucharist 4forAll John 16. 12-15
29 May 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Trinity 1 Holy Communion Sung Eucharist Evening Prayer Luke 7. 1-10
5 June 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Trinity 2 Holy Communion Service of the Word Evening Prayer Luke 7. 11-17
This is a belated celebration (apologies!) of those who were baptised and confirmed on 30 November with Bishop John Pritchard. St Hild’s School: Connor Bradley, Lucy Jones, Julie Smith, Ruth Snowdon, Max Thexton. St Cuthbert’s Shadforth: Elizabeth Hughes.
St Mary’s Sherburn: Emily Fawell, Ellie Stoker, Esme Willis, George Woodall.
Connor, Lucy, Ruth, Max and George were all baptised - publicly in the ancient font at St Giles’; in front of a large congregation of families and friends they all made their promises to follow Christ, before Bishop John prayed for God’s spirit to fill them. VERY brave. God will honour these promises. Do keep them in your prayers.
The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever”. 2 Chronicles 5:13
.... at St Mary’s and Ludworth Jesus, the Good Shepherd Continuing our series on Who is Jesus? we looked at John 10:11 ~ Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep". We created a sheep pen at the front of the church and had a shepherd guarding it. If you look carefully in the photograph, you might be able to see the wolf who is trying to steal the sheep! We talked about the verse and how Jesus cares for each one of us just as the shepherd cares for the sheep. With Easter quickly approaching, we also talked about Jesus being willing to die for us. Our art and craft activities were all based around sheep. Consequently, by home time, the church was full of sheep! Everyone had a fun time and we hope that you will be able to join us on 12 April and 3 May at 3.30pm at St Mary's and on 19 April and 10 May at 3.15pm at Ludworth School. .... and at Sherburn Hill Numbers attending were down due to an outbreak of chicken pox! The theme this month was Easter. After juice and biscuits, it was time for colouring in book marks. This was followed by their favourite parachute game where they could use some energy. A DVD called ‘The Miracle Maker’ was shown. The first half was about Jesus going to his execution and being placed in the tomb. The group was asked why Easter is so special, and there were some interesting answers. Then Easter gardens were made before the second part of the film was shown. This was about Mary Magdalene finding the empty tomb and being upset, and then the appearance of the risen Jesus before her. Jesus told Mary Magdalene to go and tell Peter what had happened. She did what was asked of her. All the parts were depicted by puppets. The afternoon ended with a prayer - and ‘creme eggs’ to take home. 12
News from St Cuthbert’s .... St Cuthbert’s 150 Club February 1st T Bennett 47 2nd W Bell 51 3rd C Thompson 156 Thank you for your support
Thank you Vivienne Bruce from St Cuthbert’s would like to thank everyone who has offered prayers and support during the time of her daughter Andrea’s illness. She is now on the road to recovery.
Children’s Society House Box Opening
The House Box Opening is now complete for 2015 and Kathleen Gilson has forwarded the sum of £298.62. The Society will be able to claim a further sum from Gift Aid. Message from Kathleen: As Honorary Secretary for St Cuthbert’s, I wish to thank you very much for your continuous and generous support to this worthy Society, particularly as they do work in the north. Kathleen also would like you to read the following: Your support of The Children’s Society is helping those who are often labelled difficult or troublesome, young people who suffer abuse, neglect and exploitation every day and face a future with little or no prospects. For over five years, Jenny’s mum abused her in an awful way. Lit cigarettes and bleach were thrown in her face and she was even beaten so hard that she ended up in hospital. Feeling unwanted and depressed, Jenny started to cut herself a lot, and take drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. But the pain didn’t go away, and Jenny became suicidal. Thanks to the generosity of your network, we were able to reach out to Jenny and help change her life for the better. We gave her emergency accommodation and put in regular contact with Juliet at The Children’s Society, someone Jenny describes as ‘the best counsellor ever’. ‘My friends see a difference in me since I started coming to The Children’s Society. They’re good people and it’s like a family here. This is my family.’ Quiz Night Durham Deanery Support Group are holding a Quiz Night on Thursday 21 April at 7.15pm in St Mary's Church Narthex, Sherburn, with light refreshments. Donations in aid of the Society. 13
Fashion Show Thursday 14 April - 7.30pm in St Cuthbert’s Church Fashion Show for both males and females - sponsored by Edinburgh Woollen Mill Snowdrop Day Whenever this annual event is held and a date has to be planned in advance, it is always a risk. Questions such as ‘Will there be a covering of snow or will there be flowers?’ are always of concern. On Saturday 27 February the weather was perfect and there were carpets of flowers for all to see. After a slow start at 11am, there was a constant stream of visitors. Some were regulars and it was lovely to meet new people as well. One lady from Newcastle arrived with her mum for her to see the church she was married in 66 years ago. They were both thrilled with the experience. Another visitor, who was visiting his brother who lives in the area, and is from the Brighton area said there was a lovely community spirit in the church. Once again, there were delicious refreshments on offer and thanks must go to all who provided food and help on the day. "Thoughts from the Organ seat .." I just wanted to say a huge thankyou to those who give their time and effort , to ensuring there are flowers and cards for all the Mothers ( and many others ! ) in our Churches , on Mothering Sunday. So many of us appreciate it. GMB
Ludworth Community Centre - regular events
Mondays Mondays Tuesdays Wednesdays Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays
10.00-11.30am 7.00-8.00pm 7.00pm 4.00-5.15pm 6.00-7.15pm 10.00-11.30am 6.00-8.30pm
Mothers and Toddlers Pilates British Legion Arts and Crafts Bingo Mothers and Toddlers Youth Club
News from St Giles’ .... 4 For All in February Alan welcomed everyone and chatted to us about what we did last time. The children “remembered Noah”. The theme this month was Abraham – travelling with God, leaving home to journey to the Promised Land. Trusting in God, having faith, following God. We tried to follow the path through the Maze (Abraham’s journey) that was projected onto the screen. Alfie was first to find the way and promptly showed us how he did it – ‘Good Work, Alfie!’ Our line this month was: ‘God calls us on a journey.’ (said by Alan) to which we replied ‘LET’S GO!’ (This is repeated throughout the afternoon.) We sang actions songs and learned a new song of Abraham with Tim and Pru, (a bit like the ‘Hokey Cokey’) putting our left/right arm/leg in and our, chin up/turn around. This proved so popular that we sang it all again very fast and it was great fun. Helen read us the story of Abraham and the children and adults came forward during the telling of the story to place cut out figures of the people involved with Abraham’s story on the back cloth (the figures had been given out beforehand.). So everyone listened intently for their figure’s name to be called out. The story was brilliant, and the finished back cloth/collage looked amazing. After the story it was time to go off around the church for the activities on offer – such a lot to do, and never enough time:
planting cress with Dorothy icing and decorating biscuits with Cheryl making stargazers with Helen and Slavka prayer tree stars with Jen tent building (involving lots of pews and lots of blankets) with Pru candle prayers at the altar with Rowena.
We all love taking part in the activities. The ringing of the bell tells us it’s time to gather together in the Lady Chapel for prayers, offering and blessing, and to sing our 4-for-All song, and ending with the 4-for-All grace. Then Alan invited us all to the tea table where Jacqui and Jean provide us with lots of wonderful things to eat. Jen K 15
Extra 50p Challenge Reminder Dear fellow church member, Thank you for your generosity over the past four years through the Extra 50p Challenge which has contributed to the maintenance and further development of a vibrant and active community here at St Giles’ Church. This is the final year of the pledge that you made in November 2011 to increase your giving to St Giles’ by at least 50p each week. If you give by standing order and have not already done so it would be appreciated if you would update this as soon as possible, please. Likewise, if you give by a weekly envelope or onto the plate please remember that this amount should also be increased appropriately. Should you wish to change your method of giving from the plate or envelope to a standing order all you need to do is complete the Standing Order Mandate form that is available in the church. If you are a taxpayer also fill in the Gift Aid form, please, if you have not done so before. This will enable us to recover tax on your gift (at no extra cost to you) and so boost its value. Thank you once again for all you have given. The PCC appreciates how generous people are to the church and it is difficult asking for more but your participation in this scheme has made a significant beneficial difference to our income. The church is precious and belongs to all of us through worship, ministry and mission and if we are to keep it active and growing for years to come we need to ensure that the financial base is sound. Dorothy Pearson
Magazine Subscriptions Annual subscriptions for St Giles’ readers are due this month - please use the envelope inside this magazine to make your payment of £5, to run from April 2016 to March 2017. Thank you Congratulations to Doretta Richardson on winning The Bake Off on Tuesday 15 March! This was a PACT event – one involving the Police and the community organised by some of the students at the Sixth Form Centre. There were plenty of cakes on display: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, carrot, raspberry, etc. Two members of St Giles’ congregation were dutifully tucking in and tasting everything on offer (bet you can’t guess who they were!). There were gallons of tea, coffee and fruit juices to help the cakes to go down easily. It was fantastic to meet students, police officers, CPSOs, Age Concern reps, DYFC reps, and teaching staff. Everyone had a voting slip which had to be placed next to the cake they thought was the best. There was just an empty platter where Loretta’s cake had once stood – every crumb had been devoured – but the pile of voting slips was enormous. There was a really loud drum roll at 5 pm prompt. Doretta was then given a ‘secret’ hamper of goodies and photographed with all the various officials who were present. It was a lovely way to spend an hour. Many congratulations to Doretta – the Gilesgate Star Baker!!!
News from St Mary’s .... St Mary’s Number Draw February 1st 2nd
P Wilkinson Calendar
St Mary’s Coffee Mornings
Mothers’ Union 11am Monday 4 April – Lady Day at St Michael’s, Witton Gilbert; 2pm Monday 18 April – Talk on Weddings by Jean of Belmont; 2pm Monday 16 May – Service at Sherburn Hospital with Rev Eileen Tarren followed by refreshments
Sherburn Village Community Centre
Saturdays - 30 April and 28 May 9.00 – 11.30am
Tea, coffee and bacon butties Come along for a cuppa and a chat
Children’s Society - Please would anyone who hasn’t returned their collection box hand it to Mrs Jean Wilkinson as soon as possible. Thank you - and thank you to everyone who has collected for this worthwhile cause.
Mini – Minors Toddler Group 10.30am on the first Wednesday of every month with crafts for parents and tots
Fashion Show and Sale of New and Pre-loved Clothing and Accessories
Saturday 21 May 2.30pm in St Mary’s TICKETS £3.00 to include refreshments Please support this event by donating new and good quality pre-loved clothing and accessories or, if you would like to model clothing or help in any way, please let us know as soon as possible or no later than 14 May
Harry Brass Memorial Concert Many thanks to the Jolly Boys, Liz McGowan and Damian, and everyone who supported this event on 11 March. £800 was raised for Church funds.
Tea at the Ritz Sunday 10 April 4.00pm at St Mary’s
TICKETS ~ £5.00 on sale now
Forthcoming Events in Brief .... Date
Mothers‘ Union Lady Day at St Michael’s, Witton Gilbert
‘Tea at the Ritz’ at St Mary’s
Messy Church at St Mary’s
Fashion Show at St Cuthbert’s
St Mary’s Mothers’ Union
Messy Church at Ludworth School
Children’s Society Quiz Night in St Mary’s Narthex
9.00 - 11.30am
St Mary’s Coffee Morning at Sherburn Village Community Centre
Messy Church at St Mary’s
Messy Church at Ludworth School
St Mary’s Mothers’ Union
Fashion Show at St Mary’s
9.00 - 11.30am
St Mary’s Coffee Morning at Sherburn Village Community Centre
Michael Bicknell Michael was licensed on September 17 2005 in Durham Cathedral by Bishop John Pritchard of Jarrow. Since then he has exercised a long and deeply faithful ministry at St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s. I marvelled at his faithfulness in turning out almost every Sunday in the year to lead our worship and to preach. But I was especially touched by the evident reverence and delight with which Michael conducted services of Communion by Extension. He “retired” when he was 70 (71 almost) as required by church law, but kept on ministering. He is now retiring fully. He will be known as Reader Emeritus and has received a warm commendation from Bishop Mark. Of course we shall enjoy having Joan and Michael worshiping with us for many years to come – we hope and pray – but we also hope that they will enjoy the additional space and time that comes from retirement. I want to add my personal warmest thanks to Michael for his faithfulness, his loyalty and his dependability. “Well done you good and faithful servant” says our Lord. Amen. Alan 19
Itinerary, 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
The 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme falls in July 2016. If you have any news or names you would like recorded in ‘Crosstalk’ please send them in to us or give them to your representative. Nurse Edith Cavell (right) (see Vicar’s letter)
& Bun Lunch at St Giles’
t Wednesday of every month ’ Church Hall from 12 noon ‘til 2pm me along to our free lunch – broth with a bun and a cup of tea. nty of time to sit and chat.
e next lunches will be on: esdays 6 April and 4 May e’d love to see you there 20
The Journey from Easter to Pentecost Eastertide is the name we give to the days following Easter Day and leading up to Pentecost (Whit) Sunday. For Pentecost was actually the special day which Jesus had promised to his followers before he died at Easter. Jesus said “I will send you an advocate, a comforter.” He said “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away the Spirit will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you, and when the spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth.” In order to be with us throughout time Jesus’ human lifespan had to stop. Everyone’s does, as we know – the human body is a part of nature and designed to have a beginning and an end. But Jesus was talking about a better way of living on with us – a way of being with us forever - through the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to all of Jesus’ followers and they knew he was back with them. Not in a body of his own but within everyone present and beyond. And this new spirit, new energy and lifegiving support for every individual gave birth to the work of the church which still thrives today on this knowledge of God within us as we live our daily lives. The Holy Spirit is neither visible nor tangible, but part of the human life of the soul. “Holy Spirit truth divine, dawn upon this soul of mine: Voice of God and inward light, wake my spirit clear my sight.” wrote Samuel Longfellow, because when the Holy Spirit engages with our own soul we are in an intimate relationship with God. Indeed our personal relationship with God is properly defined through our interaction with the Spirit. But this sounds a bit scary and people get scared of things they don’t know, or can’t see, predict or evaluate. I can’t persuade anyone, using facts and figures, about the existence of the Holy Spirit, but I can hopefully help to guide them into a relationship with God, through nurturing and awakening that precious part of themselves – the part where God’s spirit dwells. Through prayer and reading and trying to follow Jesus’ teaching as a community together we actually become the outward and visible sign of God’s grace working in His world. But there is another side to life of the Spirit to consider. And that is about the quiet, still, presence of the Spirit when we are just being alone with God. Now there are some images which are helpful to us in describing this. Sometimes people talk of the spirit as a flame, others say that it is like the wind, blowing where it goes. At other times it is likened to a dove. 21
It is the flame, which is full of light, which I want to focus on. When it is dark, a lot of lights can brighten the sky or a town or a street. ‘No light’ can be disconcerting and confusing. But one still single light is significantly better than no light, because at least with one light you have the means to see your way to regaining more light. And with one light you are no longer in the dark. And our personal relationship with God may begin with that one light illuminating our soul, finding that part of us which wants to be with God. When we are frightened and lonely, or distressed and angry, when we feel forsaken and betrayed by the world, one light in all that horribleness can start a journey towards greater enlightenment. And just one light also comforts us. It reassures us that there is one who loves us, that we are not wholly abandoned, but that we have our rightful and proper place in God’s care. We are members of Christ’s body which Jesus himself called the ‘light of the world’. And this is the light which, throughout our lives, shines out for us in the darkness. And it also shines from us to others with the radiance of God’s love as we share it and pass it on. That light in our soul is the gift of never being so totally bewildered, or lost, that we do not have a way back to God for comfort and healing. Then our soul can engage with the Spirit through prayer, through meditation, through worship, through healing wounds, through action for the needy and through just being in communion together. Our common humanity is elevated to a place of grace by the gift of the Spirit from God. As we walk towards Pentecost from the great Easter Day when death is not the end, we are being called to identify and embrace the Spirit working in ourselves. And we are being called to respond to it, as it wills us to do. Rev’d Ruth
This month’s cover We found our cover image at www.lookandlearn.com/history-images and thought it was very appropriate to reflect this month’s theme of music and dance. We are most grateful to Laurence Heyworth, Managing Director, Look and Learn Ltd for kindly granting us licensed permission to use the image without charge. Do you remember ‘Look and Learn’?
An April Saint Saint Peter Chanel Pierre Louis Marie Chanel was born in France in 1803. As a youngster he worked as a shepherd but was allowed to attend a local church-run school from the age of twelve. A quiet, pious lad, Pierre was interested in mission work and eventually entered a seminary in1824 being ordained priest in 1827. Despite a passion for missionary work, his application to be involved in the Marist Missions was refused and he was sent instead to work for three years as a parish priest. During this time his piety and enthusiasm inspired his parishioners and the parish thrived. Chanel then joined the newly formed Society of Mary (Marists) in the hope and expectation that he would be sent abroad; again the Church had other plans for him and he became Spiritual Director at the seminary in Belley. Finally, in December 1836 he was sent on a mission to the south-west Pacific. Travelling with six companions via the Canary Islands, Valparaiso, Gambia and Tahiti he arrived in Wallis, the main mission station in Tonga. Leaving some of the priests at the mission there, Chanel, a French lay brother and an English Protestant missionary went on to Futuna. They were welcomed by the local king and his people, and, despite finding the language, food, climate and culture very demanding, were beginning to make converts among the folk of Futuna, several of whom had been baptised and more were receiving instruction in the faith. The king, however, was not impressed when his own son sought baptism. A warrior loyal to the king was sent to get rid of Chanel who was beaten to death on 28 April 1841. Shortly afterwards, the two lay brothers who worked alongside Chanel on Futuna escaped on an American ship and were taken to safety in Wallis. Because Futuna was so far away, it was almost a year before the Marist group in France heard of the incident. The people of Futuna had felt great remorse at the brutal death of this gentle and pious man, so an eke was composed as a kind of penitence for the cruel act. The eke is a song accompanied by a rhythmic dance performed by one or more groups, two men and two women in each. The men hold sticks about two metres long whilst the womenâ€™s sticks are only around half a metre in length. As a drum beats out the rhythm and the song is sung, the dancers hit their sticks together in a set pattern. Here are the words of the Futuna eke: (Translation courtesy silentrebel83 (Josh) at lyrictranslate.com) 23
Pongipongi tuʻu te nuanua i sakē Moʻo teketi mai te fanālua i sakē E ōmai ai naʻi mātuʻa i sakē O fehuki pē ko fea ia Lavelua i sakē Pea tala age leva naua i sakē E ʻafio i Hahake Lavelua i sakē.
A rainbow appears in the morning - hurrah! And a herald appears – hurrah! And brings forth the two men * – hurrah! Who ask ‘Where is Lavelua?’** – hurrah! And the matchmaker tells them – hurrah! Lavelua reigns in the east – hurrah!
*The two men are Chanel and the French lay brother; ** Lavelua is the name of the king at the time. You can see (and hear!) an eke on Youtube. Chanel’s remains were eventually brought back from Futuna and were received into the mother house of the Marists in June 1850. He was canonised (made a saint) in 1954 by Pope Pius XII and is remembered on 28 April in the Church’s calendar. PAM
In the foothills of Music .... I wonder if, like me, you are not a musician but would love to join in music-making. It all looks and sounds so much fun. But for those of us who have never learnt to play an instrument, or to read music, the joy of singing in a choir or playing in a band seems far beyond our reach. Oh wait a moment . . . can't we all sing hymns www.sagegateshead.com with gusto, and tap out the rhythm when we listen to the Beatles? So maybe we can get into the foothills of Music even if we'll never scale those heights where the proper musicians live. I decided to give it a go, and signed up for a Beginners' Ukulele class at the Sage in Gateshead. 25 of us turned up (for the ‘Silver’ group – a reference I believe to hair colour if you have any), all a bit sheepish and not sure whether this was a daft idea. But within half an hour, we'd learnt a couple of chords and were, inevitably, singing Frere Jacques. There was so much laughter and pure enjoyment that we didn't care if this would all seem childishly trivial to a real musician. We were all operating Con Brio and couldn't wait to explore more the following week. Each week brought a challenge of many new (non-nursery) songs and seemingly impossible chords (aaaargh, B flat minor and other fiendish horrors) but they all soon became manageable. Our mistakes are always a source of raucous laughter: if we get to the end of a piece with most of the chords and strum patterns mostly right there is celebration and cheering. We've now all moved up a class to the Improvers' Group: so we have indeed arrived at the foothills of Music. And what fun that is! I've learnt that there are all sorts of Beginners' Music Groups (singing, guitar, steel drums, and much more). If you're not a musician but would enjoy music-making why not give it a try? BT 24
Music in the northeast of England. For centuries, here in the northeast, there has been a wealth of traditional music, song and dance. Music in the form of song has probably existed here since the earliest times as a natural form of expression. Some languages lend themselves better to song than others and the varied pitch of North Country speech is undoubtedly one of them. Folk Song is by definition an anonymous art originated by simple folk without learning and yet it maintains the most perfect musical expression of a people’s soul and commonly expresses a region’s characteristics in a definite way. It has always been at the core of the area’s musical heritage and a powerful influence in the area. The Christian Church also made use of song very early in its history. This would have taken the form of communal prayer and responses in chant form and through time gave birth to the choral tradition, which is another form of musical expression close to the heart of the people in the northeast. The first references to music in the north of the country come from the writings of the Venerable Bede. He was a monk, a writer and an historian and although he did not compose music he wrote on its practice in the church during the sixth, seventh and early eighth centuries. His writings constitute some of the most important and informative evidence for liturgical music in the Anglo Saxon Church. Vocal music has always been to the fore in England and by the Middle Ages, songs and airs were being composed all over the country by persons from all walks of life and were sung constantly in lanes and streets. Even then Northumberland must have been a musical county and this is corroborated by the fact that in the old song books published in London and the south in Tudor and Stuart times, there often appears “set to an excellent north country tune” and this is not a reference to north of the border. By the 1600s great pleasure was taken by all classes in this form of native music. It was the custom then even in the villages for musicians to wait on others for a small fee and an important branch of musical activity for some centuries was that of Waits. These were known as the Town’s Waits and in Newcastle were dressed in three-cocked hats and blue cloaks. These municipal musicians strolled the streets at night playing on some instrument to mark the hours and wakening the chief citizens in the morning by music before their windows.
Few early composers of any distinction are associated with this area. However, there is one exception, a Newcastle composer named Charles Avison (pictured right). He is unquestionably the single most important figure in the region’s musical history and the city is justly proud of him. Today there is a society bearing his name, which is dedicated to restoring his music and his rightful place as a Georgian musician. It is worth anyone who may be interested to research the life and achievements of this great man. He died at his home in Green Court, Newcastle, in May 1770 and was buried beside his wife, now in St Andrews’s churchyard. His death was marked by a simple obituary in the local paper that read; ‘Thursday died Charles Avison, upwards of 30 years organist in this town. His loss is greatly lamented by all that had the pleasure of his acquaintance for he was much valued for the amiableness of his private character as admired for his skill in the profession and for his excellent compositions.’ At the very core of the region’s musical heritage, are the Tyneside songs that are as much alive today as they were centuries ago. The northeast was unique in that it had a collection of folksongs, pipe tunes and sword dances that were not found elsewhere in Britain. There were distinct racial factors that set Northumberland and Durham apart from the rest of the country and gave these counties a unique identity in their music of the people in various forms An authority named Dr W.G. Whittaker (1876-1944) strongly affirmed the singularity of Northumbria as being neither English nor Scottish but both and neither. The early songs reflected the hardships and deprivations of working class life and one of the earliest, ‘Come you not from Newcastle’, can be traced back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Other contemporary dialect songs reflected aspects of the poorer people’s lives. ‘The Keel Row’ was popular as long ago as 1760. Later songs celebrated popular sports such as horse racing, prize fighting and rowing and a song called, ‘The Toon Improvement Bill’ lamented the loss of playing space which resulted from the building of the Central Station (above). Newcastle, being a port, gave rise to songs about the Press Gangs, which officially ceased in 1815 but were still active in Newcastle as late as 1839. One of the most beautiful melodies to come down to us today is the song ‘The Waters of The Tyne’, which has appeared in many songbooks since 1793. To hear this sung by a lonely unaccompanied voice in a hall packed with Tynesiders sitting in absolute silence, can be a very emotional experience. Perhaps this form of song has been the most enduring aspect of Tyneside’s musical culture and it will never die so long as there are people on the banks of the River Tyne. Today, in this 21st Century, the bells of the Civic Centre chime to the tune of Blaydon Races - hailed as Tyneside’s national anthem. 26
Famous northeastern musicians and performers There are many northeastern people who have promoted their own musical interests whether it be through performance or composition. These are just two local names from the world of music .... From the world of opera there is Sir Thomas Allen who was born in Seaham in 1944. He attended Ryhope Grammar School and in 1964 he won a place at the Royal College of Music where he studied with Hervey Alan for four years, specialising in oratorio. In his final term he made his operatic stage debut as the baritone lead in the Royal College of Music Opera School production of Arthur Benjamin's opera Prima Donna. Since then he has performed all over the world. In 1989, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 1999, he was knighted. Both awards were for his services to opera. In 1998 he was named a member of the Royal Opera's Opera Advisory Board, the first time a singer had been given such an appointment. On 11 October 2011 Allen was appointed Chancellor of Durham University by the University's Convocation, to serve from 1 January 2012 in succession to Bill Bryson. His first concert with the university took place in Durham Cathedral on 1 June 2013, appearing alongside over 100 student performers. On 27 January 2012, Allen marked his 40th anniversary at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, singing the role of Don Alfonso in CosĂŹ fan tutte. In 2015, he sang the role of Baron Zeta in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Franz LehĂĄr's operetta The Merry Widow. What a great achievement! Gordon Sumner .... better known as Sting, was born in Wallsend in 1951 and is a musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bass guitarist for the new wave rock band The Police from 1977 to 1984, before beginning a solo career.
He has included elements of rock, jazz, reggae, classical, new-age and worldbeat in his music. As a solo musician and a member of The Police, he has received 16 Grammy Awards (his first in the category of best rock instrumental in 1980, for "Regatta de Blanc"), three Brit Awards, including Best British Male in 1994 and Outstanding Contribution in 2002, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and three Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Police in 2003. In 2000, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording. In 2003, Sting received a CBE from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for services to music, and was made a Kennedy Centre Honoree at the White House in 2014.
Rapper dancing Rapper sword dances are traditional in the North-East of England. The dances were originally performed by the miners from the pit villages of Durham and Northumberland. A rapper dance consists of 5 dancers joined in a ring by flexible metal swords (the rappers). Through a series of high-speed and possibly acrobatic jumps and movements, the dancers tie the swords into a series of knots in various shapes to display to the audience. The dance is accompanied by traditional folk music and hard soled shoes are worn by the dancers who punctuate the dance using percussive steps. Many sides are often joined by characters to announce the dance and interact with the audience. These may include a male "Tommy" character and female "Betty" character, and are often played by someone obvious of the opposite gender. Although Rapper can often be seen performed outdoors alongside other folk traditions, such as Morris dancing, it's generally more suited to more restricted indoor areas. As a result it is often danced inside busy pubs.
One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.â€? Bob Marley
The Maypole A maypole is a tall wooden pole around which a maypole dance takes place. It is still popular today in towns and villages up and down the country and is usually performed on 1st May, or May Day, or during the midsummer celebration. The most popular maypole dance consists of dancers who perform circle dances around a tall, garland-festooned pole. Another is where dancers move in a circle, each holding a coloured ribbon attached to a much smaller pole. As they move around the pole, the dancers intertwine their ribbons either in a web around the pole or to plait it to the pole itself. To unravel the ribbons, the dancers retrace their steps. Historians believe the first maypole dance originated as part of Germanic pagan fertility rituals where dancers danced around a living tree. The tradition survived with the growth of Christianity although it lost its original pagan meaning. Another theory is that they were a remnant of the Germanic reverence for sacred trees, as there is evidence for various sacred trees and wooden pillars that were venerated by the pagans across much of Germanic Europe. In the 14th century the Welsh poet Gryffydd Dafydd referred to the maypole when he described people using a tall birch pole in Wales. By 1400 there was much evidence to support the fact that the custom was well established. Dancing around the maypole became increasingly popular throughout the ensuing centuries bringing the local community together. Poorer parishes would pool resources with neighbouring ones in order to obtain a maypole. However people sometimes stole the poles of neighbouring communities and this practice often led to violence. In the 16th century Protestants viewed maypoles and other May Day celebrations as idolatry and therefore immoral and under the reign of King Edward VI many maypoles were destroyed. However when Queen Mary I took the throne in 1553 she reinstated Catholicism and maypoles. In later years the practice of dancing around the maypole was sporadic as it was banned in some parts of England and not others. By the 18th century maypole dancing was a popular Italian and French traditional or artistic dance and traveling dancing troupes performed it in English theatres. It was later introduced in teacher training schools where it became a physical training exercise in central and southern England. The tallest maypole in Britain is in the village of Nun Monkton in North Yorkshire, standing at 88 feet tall. A maypole was first erected there in 1790. 29
Music in St Martin/St Maarten In February of this year my husband Jeff and I visited the Caribbean island of St Martin, discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 - although he never set foot on land there. Although it is one small island, it is two countries, French St Martin and Dutch St Maarten, with a population of about 69,000 and 70 different nationalities living there. Both sides have individual and shared aspects of unique musical styles mostly coming from their African roots. On the day of our visit there was a parade of hundreds of school children of all ages. One after the other, in what seemed to be a never-ending procession, they walked down the main street, the younger ones holding hands with each other. Each school had its own individual banner and every child wore a white tee shirt with a bird outlined in blue on it, and on the back the words â€˜We are called to ....â€™ from the Bible, Micah 6.8. They were singing and playing drums and some older children rode on trailers with steel drums that they played with great enthusiasm.
It was a wonderful sight and the children were obviously enjoying the parade as much as we were - especially those carrying the banners. B Tall
The Shofar (see article next page) The sound of the shofar (made from a ram's horn) was familiar in history, summoning the people to solemn assembly, its blast claiming attention for announcements, proclamation of holidays and public events, and coronations.
Music and Dance in Ancient Egypt We must all have had the experience of hearing a tune over and over in our minds that we can’t get rid of – even if it’s one that we don’t particularly like. I do remember awful pop songs (e.g. ‘Where’s your mama gone…’ and ‘I’ll tell you what I want....’) that were so catchy and easily remembered that they became a type of background noise. A noise you would probably not want to admit to knowing! We have all clapped in rhythm to, or tapped our feet in time to, or not realised that our heads are bobbing along to the beat of a piece of music/song. It seems that humans can’t help but enjoy music in some form or other. It’s almost impossible to imagine dancing without any musical accompaniment, even if it is only some kind of rhythmic beating of hands, sticks, etc. The two art forms of music and dance are very closely linked and seem to be deeply embedded in our everyday lives. Just think how many phrases there are in the English language that refer to music and dance: to lead someone on a merry dance (to cause a person trouble by leading him astray), to ring a bell (to remember something), to go for a song (to sell something cheaply), to blow your own trumpet (to boast), fit as a fiddle (be in good health), strike a chord (to recall something), face the music (put up with unpleasant consequences of your own actions), etc. When archaeologists study very ancient civilizations, it is very difficult for them to find tangible evidence of music and dance. Written music and dance notation are relatively new in the history of humankind. However, in Ancient Egypt, there are many pictures of people playing musical instruments and dancing. Hathor is the cowheaded goddess who is credited with the invention of music. She is especially associated with the sistrum (which translates as ‘that which is being shaken’), a hand held ‘u’ shaped metal frame with small loops and rings of metal on its crossbars. Its shape is said to be based on the horns of the cow-headed goddess. There were different types of music: religious music for use in the temples and for ceremonies; music for the royal household; entertainers who could be hired to perform for parties and festivals; military processional music and the music of everyday life and workers. But, doesn’t this all sound very similar to the types of music we have today: religious, military, popular, etc? The instruments in Ancient Egypt fell into four categories: human voices (male and female); percussion – drums, rattles, castanets, bells, tambourines and sistrum; wind instruments – flutes, trumpets, zummara (two parallel canes with holes in) and shofar (horns of rams or goats) (see page 29); and stringed instruments – harps, lyre and lutes (plucked not bowed). 31
Dancing was either all men or all women, i.e. no mixed gender dances. Gymnastic moves would have been included as part of dancing – cartwheels, splits, back flips, etc. There were specific religious dancers as well as professional dancers for entertainment. Also, there would be the everyday spontaneous dancing of the ordinary people. The music and dance of Ancient Egypt probably influenced the surrounding cultures and nations. Many of their instruments were used by other peoples. In the Old Testament many instruments are mentioned: lyre, finger cymbals, rhythmic bones (two curved pieces of wood/bone/ivory held in one hand and rhythmically struck together), rattles, bells, shofar, reed pipe, drums, trumpets, harps, crotales (melodic cymbals) and ugav (no one is sure what this was, but it may have been similar to a lyre). Psalm 150 illustrates and encourages us all to praise God with every type of instrument available – making a ‘joyful song’. Well, it’s a good job there are people at church who can sing and play in tune. Many thanks to all who help to keep us in the right key and on the right note. SAP
Lord Of The Dance
by Sydney Carter
We sometimes sing this hymn in our churches and it is appropriate for this month’s magazine theme. It tells the Christian story from Creation to Redemption from a ‘dance’ perspective. WLM I danced in the morning when the world was begun, I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth At Bethlehem I had my birth: Dance, dance, wherever you may be I am the lord of the dance, said he And I lead you all, wherever you may be And I lead you all in the dance, said he. I danced for the scribes and the Pharisees They wouldn't dance, and they wouldn't follow me I danced for the fishermen James and John They came with me and the dance went on: Chorus I danced on a Friday when the world turned black It's hard to dance with the devil on your back They buried my body and they thought I was gone But I am the dance, and the dance goes on: Chorus They cut me down and I leapt up high I am the life that will never, never die I'll live in you if you'll live in me I am the Lord of the dance, said he: 32
The Northumbrian Smallpipes .... are a form of bagpipes unique to north-east England which are bellows-blown. An organologist named Anthony Baines has written of this instrument, "It is perhaps the most civilised of the bagpipes, making no attempt to go farther than the traditional bagpipe music of melody over drone, but refining this music to the last degree." The instrument consists of one chanter (the part of the bagpipe upon which the player creates the melody) and usually four drones (the pipes through which the sound is made). The cylindrically-bored chanter has a number of metal keys, most commonly seven, but chanters with a range of over two octaves can be made which require seventeen or more keys, each played with either the right hand thumb or left little finger. There is no overblowing employed to get this two octave range, so the keys are therefore necessary, together with the length of the chanter, for obtaining the two octaves. The Northumbrian smallpipes' chanter having a completely closed end, combined with the unusually tight fingering style (each note is played by lifting only one finger or opening one key) means that traditional Northumbrian piping is staccato in style. Because the bores are so narrow, (typically about 4.3 millimetres for the chanter), the sound is far quieter than most other bagpipes. Kathryn Tickell is perhaps one of the most well-known players of the smallpipes. She was born in Northumberland in 1968 and took up the smallpipes aged nine, inspired by her family, especially her father Mike, who was heavily involved in the local traditional music scene, and by the music of an older generation of traditional musicians such as Willie Taylor, Will Atkinson, Joe Hutton, Richard Moscrop, Billy Pigg and Tom Hunter. By the time she turned thirteen in 1980, she had won all the traditional open smallpipes competitions. Her first album, On Kielder Side, was released at the age of sixteen, in 1984. In the same year she was named the official piper for the Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne. Kathryn turned professional in 1986, immediately entering a busy touring schedule throughout Britain and abroad, as well as recording her second album, Borderlands, which was the first recording to include her own compositions. Since then she has gone from strength to strength and has performed on four of Stingâ€™s albums as well as performing at the City Hall in Newcastle with him. In 2012, Kathryn composed Northumbrian Fantasia for the National Youth Orchestra, produced Jig Hop, composing for and performing with Folkestra and other artists for BT River of Music, part of the Cultural Olympiad. She has continued to work with Sting on his music theatre show The Last Ship. In 2013, she won the prestigious Musician of the Year in BBC Radio 2's Folk Awards. She was awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 2015, for services to folk music and was awarded an Honorary Degree from The Open University for "Notable contribution to education and culture". 33
Maori Song and Dance I’m not really a fan of rugby, which seems to me to be a game in which blokes (and more recently women!) rush round grabbing an egg-shaped ball and doing everything in their power to keep possession and eventually kick it over a very high goal post. I wasn’t aware there were any rules at all until my brother explained it to me.... However, I do like to root for England and have therefore watched rugby matches between the home team and New Zealand, and I’ve always been fascinated by the ritual dance performed by the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. It’s called a haka, a war dance, appropriately, with loud chanting, strong hand movements, foot stamping and thighslapping and sticking tongues out. Sometimes, in other circumstances, a haka includes traditional Maori weapons such as taiaha, which are spears, and patu, which are clubs. I’m sure you’ve seen the All Blacks haka on the sports programmes. Pūkana are facial expressions, and an important part of Māori performance. They help emphasise a point in a haka, and demonstrate the performer’s ferocity or passion. Women tend to open their eyes wide and push out their chin. The men, on the other hand, usually open their eyes wide and stick their tongues out, This can be seen in the rugby haka. And it’s not all conflict, confrontation and rugby matches. There’s a lovely dance form called a poi which uses small balls attached to a string. It’s normally women who perform this and they twirl the balls in time to the musical rhythm. A skilled performance will strongly convey a sense of grace, beauty and charm. In a waiataā-ringa or action song, the lyrics are supported by symbolic hand movements. The performers flutter their hands quickly, a movement called wiri, which can symbolise shimmering waters, heat waves or even a breeze moving the leaves of a tree. Waiataā-ringa are usually accompanied by a guitar and can be slow, fast, serious, or fun and flirtatious, depending on the context. The karanga is a ceremonial song of welcome to visitors. It is performed by women as the Maoris believe that women, as givers of life, are powerful members of society. Karanga calls us from the darkness of Te Po (the night) and takes us into Te Ao Marama (the world of light) whose energy unlocks the pulse of life. PAM 34
Learning a musical instrument There must be so many people like me who have said, ‘Oh how I wish I had learned to play a musical instrument when I was young.’ Well don’t give up, no matter what time of life you are at, the opportunity is there. I am a mature lady who, just before Christmas 2015, attended a concert at Seaham Music Academy given by the students who attend. I loved the music and the atmosphere. The students ranged from infants to those well past retirement and all were learning instruments such as the violin, flute, clarinet, trumpet, guitar and drums. I spoke to the gentleman in charge and said that I’d always had a fancy for learning to play the clarinet. (This was my father’s favourite instrument.) I was invited to go along for a try out at the beginning of this year. I gave it some serious thought and decided I was keen enough to give it a go. The Academy lets you have a loan instrument to see if you really want to persevere. Well, here I am, nine weeks further on, and loving it. I can’t pretend it is easy and I have had a few moments of despair, but the encouragement given to each one of us is amazing. The staff are so supportive and know exactly how newcomers feel. Fellow classmates also help me and no one ever laughs at my attempts to make a note. I am having to learn the correct positioning for my mouth and my fingers without looking down at my instrument, to learn to keep the beat and to read music from scratch. First of all, I had to learn how to put the clarinet together. From a distance it looks like it is in one piece but there are five pieces, plus the reed. There is a sequence I have had to learn as I could damage some of the levers. I am having to learn not to puff out my cheeks when blowing and to be patient to make one note- yes-one note. The sounds emitting have been unbelievable but now that my panics have subsided, I am gradually playing simple tunes that are recognisable, even to the untrained ear. I am gaining in confidence and five notes further down the line, my aim is to improve my tone.
As We Were ......?
I am finding the whole experience joyful and a pleasure. Each week the parting mantra is ‘practice, practice, practice.’ Anon
Regular readers may be wondering where WLM has gone this month .... overcome by ‘flu, WLM asked us to share with you the words of the hymn ‘Lord of the Dance’ which you can read on page 31. Rest assured, our intrepid local history reporter will be back on duty for June. 35
Many of you have been asking Alan and Helen about Ben’s work in the DRC This article, which Ben wrote, recently appeared in a York University publication (Ben is an alumnus of the PRDU at York University). We thought it might give you an interesting update.
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” Albert Einstein
The Orchestra .... instruments and layout