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Tag: christmas

Christmas music in Canterbury in 2014

Our musical groups have been busy across Canterbury this Christmas, as every Christmas. We take part in tens of events – carol services, our own Sunday worship, plus playing carols for the public in the High Street during December.

As we pack away our festive repertoire for another year, here we take a chance to look at a few pieces of music that our brass bands have used over the last few weeks. Hundreds of people will have heard us playing this music, and it is our prayer that something of the message of Jesus and of the hope that he brought to the world will have been felt. Carry on reading »

Canterbury Salvation Army Band at 125

In the last few centuries, the city of Canterbury has heard many sounds. From Cathedral bells and the chatter of market traders and shoppers to river users and the roar of motor cars – there can surely not have been a moment of quiet in all those years. Since Victorian times, there has been one sound in particular that will be familiar to many city residents; that of Canterbury Salvation Army Band. Its music has been integral to services at the church, and it has woven its way into much of the city’s life – services in the High Street, carolling at Christmas and many civic events are all supported by it.

This year, that band becomes 125 years old. My history in the band stretches back only three years, which is almost nothing proportionally – so I was keen to find out more about the group and its past. Twelve and a half decades is a long time; what has changed, and what stays the same? What has the band done so far in its life, and why does it do what it does? Carry on reading »

No Christmas, without ordinary people

Have you ever noticed how full of ordinary people the Christmas story is? For a description of the birth of a king, it has remarkably few remarkable characters.

Take Mary, for instance. She was a young girl, just starting out in life – she was probably still living with her parents when she fell pregnant with Jesus. In the gospels, her fiancé Joseph is described as a tekton – meaning carpenter or craftsman – so he was probably not of a particularly high social standing. Both live their lives in an ordinary way yet are chosen for a very specific, important purpose: to help bring God’s son into the world, and to raise him into adulthood. Carry on reading »