It’s good when great things happen in the parish and the vicar has little to do with them!
This morning started off with the Big Breakfast in Ashcott. It may not be a surprise to some of my readers that an event advertising ‘breakfast’ was going to be a big draw for me! It had been advertised as a charity fundraiser in the village so it was a real pleasure to walk into the hall and find it was effectively being run by the church’s core group! Freda Prime and Margaret Trim’s team cooked over 90 breakfasts between about 9 and 11 – about double what they were expecting!
About a month ago, Nigel Steady told me he’d booked the Christian singer/songwriter Paul Field, and asked whether it would be ok to use Shapwick Church? I was hardly going to say ‘no’ but was a bit worried about his organising a concert in one month flat. I needn’t have worried: this evening’s event was outstanding.
Over a career spanning forty years, Paul has worked with secular artists like Gloria Gaynor, Katie Melua and Rick Wakeman, as well as Christian singers like Cliff Richard, Natalie Grant and Rebecca St James. More recently he’s been involved with social issues like modern-day slavery and human trafficking. His concert included some powerful and challenging videos and songs that brought out the reality of slavery in the world today. For example, there are currently believed to be 21 million people enslaved worldwide, 13,000 of whom are in the UK [eg Free the Slaves stats]. This has led to his doing work for the Stolen Lives project, which featured in this concert.
This all contributed to a high-quality and very thought-provoking evening. For me personally it all contributed to a great weekend – not least in realising the gifts and talents of those in the parish!