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Photo of the YP Band playing at St John's school

Young People’s Band provide music for the Queen’s birthday

Members of Canterbury Salvation Army Young People’s Band (plus a couple of helpers) provided live music at St John’s Church of England Primary School during their Tea Party in honour of the Queen’s 90th Birthday.

The Band presented pieces from their own repertoire as well as several patriotic and classical favourites, including ‘I Vow To Thee, My Country’, ‘The Sailor’s Hornpipe’ and ‘Rule Britannia’ to much flag-waving and singing from the pupils, staff and visitors. Carry on reading »

Visit of Boston Salvation Army Songsters

It was many months in the planning, but the preparations for the visit of Boston Salvation Army Songsters to Canterbury were well worth the effort! Much was packed into two days, with a concert, two Sunday meetings and an open-air and much great music, inspiring testimony and helpful prayer-times.

After a long journey and a welcome meal following the arrival of the choir, it was time for the Saturday evening festival. The Songsters kicked off with the upbeat ‘There’s Never Been a Mountain, before we moved into the more peaceful ‘I Lift My Hands’ and ‘My Simple Prayer.’

Other highlights of the evening included the pieces ‘The King’s Highway,’ ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘Under His Wings,’ plus a wonderful item from the Boston Timbrelists and some poetry. Canterbury’s own Young People’s Band played Dorothy Gates arrangement ‘Jesus Paid It All.’

Photo of SongstersParticularly good to hear were moments of personal testimony from Duncan and Tina, who both spoke of time spent away from God and from church. God still found ways to speak to them, however. Duncan talked about his experience going to the final festival at The Salvation Army summer camp his daughter had attended and feeling God speaking to him; Tina shared how God spoke to her and made her less cynical and got her involved in the Army once more.

Sunday morning arrived and members of the Songsters returned to our hall from their overnight hosts ready for a meeting themed around ‘Rest’ – indeed, this is the piece of music they opened with. Prayers were centred around the unknown worries of those around us.

More testimonies from the Songsters focussed on the need to make time for God, as those who spoke shared their experiences of how the day-to-day routines of life (work, hobbies, family) can get in the way of reflection, prayer and church.

Other musical highlights of the service included ‘In This Quiet Moment’ and ‘O Rest in the Lord’ (a vocal solo from Emma), whilst our Bible reading came from Luke 5.

Photo of WendyCanterbury Salvation Army holds an open-air service most Sundays in the High Street, and our visiting musical group gave an opportunity for something a little different.

Our band’s music was added to by some vocal pieces from the Songsters and leader Wendy compared Christians to a packet of M&Ms! She pointed out the marking on each (Christians are marked as saved by God’s son), the variety of colours (we are all unique) and we all have something great on the inside (Jesus is with us)!

Lunch offered a chance to get to know each other a little better, as some of Canterbury Salvation Army stayed at the hall to help with the cooking and serving of a roast dinner to the visiting Songsters. Through conversation we discovered many more links between our two churches – family, friends, former leaders and more!

Photo of Songster at open-air service

3.30pm saw the start of our final event of the weekend. Canterbury SA Band played the piece ‘Rejoice,’ and we all enjoyed a monologue from Sue entitled ‘If I Could Sing Like Katherine’! Sue used to be a member of Boston Salvation Army Songsters before moving to Canterbury recently. The Songsters featured music included ‘Everywhere’ and ‘The Wonder of his Grace,’ as well as ‘Jesus, What a Saviour.’

‘Total Praise’ was Boston’s final piece of the two days, reminding us that all of our efforts were for God. Canterbury Salvation Army is so grateful to Boston Songsters for their work in making the weekend happen – both logistical and in their preparations for our services and the Saturday concert. The theming was helpful and varied, and everybody got something from the two days.

All of the photos from the weekend are on our Facebook page
All of the videos are on our YouTube page

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 »

Easter 2014 in Canterbury

Easter is one of the occasions each year when, perhaps, the Christian faith is most visible in Canterbury with many events taking place throughout the city. For 2014’s Maundy Thursday, a new event was launched in the High Street. Christians from churches across the area were stationed outside M&S, offering passers-by the chance to get their shoes polished. This was as a symbolic gesture, a reminder of the way that the Bible describes Jesus humbling himself through washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.

Good Friday began with a United service at Canterbury Baptist Church, with Easter songs and a thought-provoking message from Pastor Eric Harmer of Barton Evangelical Church. He spoke about how easy it can be for people to know the story of the crucifixion, but more difficult to fully understand its significance; the pain of Jesus’ death may be lost on us as we focus on the physical torture and forget the social and mental torment that he also endured. Easter is a time to remind ourselves and those we meet in the secular world of our belief in the impact of the events of the Gospels. Carry on reading »

Band concert at St Dunstan’s Church

Canterbury Salvation Army Band and Songsters brought an afternoon concert of music to the church of St Dunstan’s, Canterbury, that appeared to go down well with the crowd who gathered to listen.

The layout of the building meant that squeezing all of our players into the church was a logistical challenge – particularly when large items of percussion like the drum kit and timpani had to be brought in too! Luckily, we got set up just in time to open our programme with the piece ‘Ein Feste Berg,’ a lively arrangement of a tune whose words begin: ‘A mighty fortress is our God.’ Carry on reading »

YP Band and Singing Company visit Germany

It was at least a year in the planning, with organisers having to overcome barriers of language and distance – but the result was a very successful week in Germany for the Young People’s Band and Singing Company of Canterbury Salvation Army. They and their adult helpers (pictured in the German sunset on the right) arrived home tonight feeling a little more weary than they had five days previously, but certainly more inspired and closer as a group. Here’s a run down of the week…

Thursday

Those walking down Canterbury High Street just before 7am on the 25th July 2013 would have seen a coach parked by the entrance to Whitehorse Lane with around 35 people loading up bags, boxes and instruments onto it. Yes, the day had finally arrived for the tour to begin – which meant an awful lot of equipment had to be loaded! (See the photo on the left.)

Carry on reading »

Young People’s Anniversary weekend

The Young People’s Anniversary weekend of 2013 proved to be an inspirational and energetic couple of days, combining music with powerful themes of courage and crossing over – particularly appropriate with the upcoming visit of the junior musical groups to Germany in mind.

Saturday

Saturday night of the weekend saw family, friends and members of the public enjoy a concert of music from the Young People’s Band and Singing Company.

With YP Band leader Keith Woodger unable to take care of the band over the weekend at short notice, Matthew Crick stepped in. The band played brilliantly, their hard work over several weeks and months on some difficult music paying off. Carry on reading »