St George’s church welcomes all to a fun and lively festival

Published: Monday July 8, 2024

Children performing drums at the Music and Art festival St George’s Church, Nailsworth hosted a vibrant Music and Arts Festival, challenging the dated perspective that the church can only be a quiet, reserved place of worship.

The festival began with an African Drumming Workshop led by Ian Evans, engaging 36 children in energetic call-and-response drumming. Children from Nailsworth Primary and Horsley Primary schools performed choir and musical pieces, followed by performances from Tom Robbins, the Rodborough Folk Orchestra, Wind of Change band, and J12 folk band. The evening featured ‘A Night at the Opera,’ with romantic songs by soprano Megan Strachan, tenor Alexander Duarte, and pianist Julian Elloway.

The Revd Caroline Bland of Nailsworth Benefice, and organiser of the festival, said: “I still think there is some reservation that people coming into church think that they have to be quiet. It is of course important to have times of quiet, but the church can also be a place where you can have fun and enjoy different kinds of music. Being in the church brings the spiritual element to it as well.

“I wanted to bring the schools and the community together at the church through music, which is one of my passions. I wanted to show that everyone is welcome at the church, and that the church is here for you.”

Sunday’s activities kept the vibrant atmosphere alive with ‘Friends Uke United,’ a band of ukulele players, performing casually and spontaneously. This was followed by a Songs of Praise service, where attendees joined in singing their favourite hymns.

“The church was buzzing by the end of Sunday. The ukulele performance was held in the church car park, tables were laid out for people to sit at. It attracted people from their homes to enjoy the music and come and donate to the band”, Caroline remarked.

This year marked the second annual Music and Arts Festival at St George’s, with Caroline organizing the musicians. She herself now plays with the Rodborough Folk Orchestra. Megan Strachan, a professional soprano, has deep ties to St George’s, having sung in the church choir as a child.

Caroline commented: “Music and art are all gifts from God and are welcomed and celebrated in church. The building was decorated with artwork, and members of the church provided refreshments. The festival was free of charge and open to everyone.”

Other churches in the Nailsworth benefice are hosting lively community events, such as St John the Baptist Kingscote, which is hosting a flower festival this weekend despite a recent break-in.

St George’s church has also began a Little Fishers Sunday school, a time to learn the stories of Jesus through crafts and stories during the morning communion services.


Leave a Reply

Most popular articles today: