Sunday 31 May 2015

Civic Sunday – singing for the Ceremonial Mayor of Salford 31 May 2015

By 9.30 we are all gathered in St Clements Church Ordsall and Salford Quays. We’re in our home parish and in the place from where we get our name. It’s raining gently outside and it’s cold for May. Yet, as we’re reminded later, “It’s a glorious day, despite the weather.”  
The warm-up goes well and a few folk who have arrived early are appreciative.
At ten on the dot the Mayoral party arrives and enters the church with due ceremony. Peter Dobbs looks splendid in his robes.

We sing two songs in our slot: Joshua and Kum Bah Yah, with Jeff more than competently providing the solo voice for the latter. Of course, we also helped to provide voices for the hymns. Those of us who are regular church-goers or who used to sing hymns at school recognise some old favourites that are always good to sing: Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah, Love Divine All Loves Excelling, Praise My Soul the King of Heaven  and How Great Thou Art. The latter of course made us remember The Events that some of us sang for a few months ago.
The service ends and we follow the band for the short walk to Ordsall Hall.
“Do you remember how every Sunday morning you used to hear marching bands on the streets for the Sunday School anniversaries?”
“Of course. Miss that a bit. It was all part of the summer.”    
Ah, yes indeed. There’s a lot of nostalgia about today: cherished hymns, reminders of other performances and Ordsall Hall where we used to rehearse and where we’ve sung as invited guests on many occasions.   
Following the band makes us feel part of the ceremony. Everyone stands to attention as they play the National Anthem just before we go into the Hall.  
We perform again as the other members of the congregation have a pre-lunch drink. This time we offer Love is the Sweetest Thing, Blue Skies, Here, There and Everywhere / Long Winding Road and Bring Him Home. Christopher Bowles’ solo in Bring Him Home is magical.
We’re so privileged to be invited to sing in these great venues. St Clements is another fabulous church. Ordsall Hall is always such a very special place.

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