Ales Beers and Carols

November 1, 2016

We’re going carolling in pubs again. It’s another glorious romp around some excellent ale houses with a piano and a sheaf of carol sheets which seems to be an annual indulgence. I’ve just sent an order to the printers for flyers (download yours in advance here if you like) and we have more pubs than ever on the list.

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Why should the Presbyterians have all the good music?

January 24, 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote about Christian music, but something this morning really made me pause and think.

Horatio Spafford is known for a few things, principally as a chum of great evangelist Dwight Moody and the writer of “It is well with my Soul” – a hymn inspired by the tragic loss of his four daughters in a shipwreck when crossing the Atlantic to holiday in England. The hymn, published by Sankey to a tune by Philip Bliss, is a standard in traditional protestant Christian churches, an inspiring message that whatever the world throws at a person God’s love and grace are sufficient to meet the challenge. It’s a hymn strong on key Christian themes, and recognised and sung across the English-speaking world.

Which is why I’m rather disappointed that Matt Redman nicked the chorus to shore up one of his recent compositions. Read the rest of this entry »


Carol Servicing

November 9, 2014

Like any good garage there are levels of service available from most churches this Christmas.

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Christmas at the Parish church in Aldridge.

November 24, 2013

I’m a musician on the rota of band leaders at Aldridge Parish Church. This Christmas will be one of the more intense ones for me, because I’m playing at the carol services (two of them, back to back, December 22nd evening) and the morning of December 15th. Read the rest of this entry »


Christmas. Carols. Beer. Excellent.

November 17, 2013

It’s been in my diary for a little while now, but I’d like to take this opportunity to plug Ales Beers and Carols 2013 again. What a fantastic opportunity to drink beer and sing carols. For a concept, this one scores highly for simplicity and ease of execution. Read the rest of this entry »


Talk about last minute…

September 29, 2013

This morning someone found my blog using the search term “Harvest songs for Kids”. I fear my recent little rant about how we have no decent songs for this particular festival probably didn’t furnish them with the material they were after, and it strikes me as a little late in the day to be panicking about such things. Our service starts at half ten. This morning. I think looking for material now could be construed as last minute panic?


Harvest Songs – Where’s all the new material?

September 23, 2013

I’m playing at church on Sunday. My minister is talking to me about Harvest themed songs, and he hasn’t found much to enjoy from the “modern” worship canon.

Not that there is much really.

Harvest for most Christians is about thanking God for the abundance of creation. Even with all the skill in the world, farmers rely on nature to operate within normal tolerances and for us, that’s in the gift of Almighty God. We like a good knees-up. Anyone who thinks we don’t know how to party has never read about Jesus’ first recorded miracle – the whole water into wine thing. We are encouraged to celebrate, but apparently we must do it with a tragically dated soundtrack.
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