Visit of Morriston Citadel Songsters to Staines
Report by Songster Olwyn Westwood (Staines)
Well, this was a wonderful weekend where the whole concept, from an idea to the arrival at Staines of Morriston Songster Brigade, was so much faster than the normal Salvation Army ‘snail’s-pace’. From the moment the sound of Welsh accents was heard around the Hall, and the undeniable warmth and excitement, we knew that this was going to be, not only a time when the Lord would be central in worship, but also that we were going to have a whole lot of fun. Some of us had high expectations for the weekend, given the brigade’s reputation for musicality and heart-felt singing of the gospel, and we were not disappointed.
The Saturday night festival began with the songsters moving amongst the congregation to greet us, and then raising the cupola roof of the Hall with an inspiring rendition of the song, God of My Praise. A distinctive feature of Salvation Army music-making is our ability to change the atmosphere in a moment, from joyful exuberance to deep reflection, and this was evident throughout our time together. Equally, the beauty of Morriston’s chosen repertoire for the weekend was its appeal to all personal expressions of Salvationism – The modern composers’ songs, the reflective pieces like, I Know a Fount, and We saw Love, but the significant theme was the same, of love, thanksgiving and praise to our Saviour.
On the Sunday afternoon, when members of the congregation were invited to unite with the songsters for The Awakeners, many of us at Staines did not need to be asked twice to sing at the top of our lungs that rousing sessional song! Likewise when the massed songsters of Morriston and Staines sang the Founder’s Song (music arranged by Dean Goffin) which stirred unique and personal memories. Indeed, some of the Welsh contingent of Staines were definitely dewy-eyed when Calon Lân and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau were sung. (Yes, we were singing along with you in the stalls)
Morriston Songsters, we thank you for a tremendous weekend which was contemplative, and one of immense blessing and fun. You have certainly set the bar extremely high, and we look forward to meeting you again when Staines Songster Brigade visit you later in 2018.
Morriston Songster Brigade – May God bless you richly as you continue to serve and praise Him in this special year.
Morriston Songster Brigade – Boed i Dduw fendithio chi llawn wrth ichi barhau i wasanaethu ac i ganmol yn y flwyddyn arbennig hon.
Photos of the weekend available here.