JOHN BELL RE-CAST
John was due to come to Hadleigh last April but had to postpone his visit as the NHS summoned him for cataract operations. We are pleased to say that John has now rescheduled his visit and will now be coming in May. So please put the revised dates in your diaries. He will be visiting Hadleigh on 20th & 21st May and leading 3 sessions in St Mary’s, Hadleigh and preaching at the 10.45am service on the Sunday morning.
John is a minister in the Church of Scotland, a member of the Iona Community with an international reputation. A prolific hymn writer (his hymns appear in every major hymn book published in the last 30 years). He has written many books and spends much of his time speaking at Theological Colleges, Cathedrals, Conference Centres as well as music festivals. He is also a familiar contributor to Radio 4 “Thought for the Day”. His regular activities take him to the USA, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. We are indeed fortunate that he is able to spend the weekend with us.
His great passion is congregational worship – relating and often retelling the words and the works of God in a way that people can understand and acknowledging where people are. He has a great gift for scratching where people itch. I have seen him in a gathering of a hundred people with little musical ability and within an hour they were singing as a truly harmonious unit. If you had not been there you would never believe it.
His sessions at Hadleigh on 20th and 21st May are :-
On Saturday 10am – 1pm The Bible as the People’s book
For some people the Bible is a book of problems which only ordained people can solve. For others it is full of contradictions and is at odds with science. Other people still remember it from their childhood but have not looked at it much since. This workshop looks at the Bible in an entirely different way, recognizing the Bible as a gift to the community which requires all to participate in sharing its stories, poems, insights and truth.
2pm – 4pm Why do God’s people sing?
Hopefully for better reasons than that the next hymn has been announced. Rarely do we explore reasons for singing, but when we do, the enjoyment of the congregational song increases. This is a session for everyone, not just for the “Musically gifted.”
On Sunday 2.30pm – 4.30pm Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Songs – A Big Sing
The title comes from St Paul, but the material comes from many centuries and around the world. Songs shared here have been gathered or written by people in the Iona Community over the last 30 years and are now sung all over the world. However the psalms and songs that come from scripture, along with worship songs and short songs will all be featured.
Tickets for each session will be £5 and will be available from the beginning of March. Applications can be made to Trish Pitt on 01473 828393 or email@example.com and David & Wendy Atkins on 01473 822535 or firstname.lastname@example.org
It truly is an event for everyone – even for those who feel they can’t sing. It is an opportunity not to be missed.
David Atkins – Moderator, Churches Together in Hadleigh