SCB at Abertillery

Bandsman Ryan Wileman shares his thoughts on our visit to Abertillery:

From the minute we were introduced to our billets on Saturday evening, until the moment we left on Sunday afternoon, it was clear that those of us privileged to be in the ‘Abertillery Band’ undoubtedly got the better half of the deal – and we like to think that the Corps did too!

As soon as we arrived we were made to feel very welcome and were embraced into the unique and intimate fellowship that is Abertillery Corps.  It was great to catch up with Captains Dave & Bev Womersley and their two children Nathan and Megan, who are both a lot bigger and considerably more Welsh than the last time we saw them! 🙂

Our morning worship set the tone for the rest of the day.  Expertly led by Alistair Mann, there was a lovely mix of moods throughout the morning.  We had some great banter with the congregation, where the Welsh sense of humour (and competitive spirit!) really came to the fore.  But there were also some very reverent and thoughtful moments.  Alistair shared a clear and empowering message from Isaiah 43 v1-7 that ‘we’re worth it’ to God and that there’s nothing that we can do to change this.  The contributions of the Band and Abertillery  Songsters fitted in perfectly with the theme of the meeting.

This was followed by an afternoon meeting which was a nice mix of light-hearted and relaxed music with some practical bible teaching by Roger Coates, along with powerful, honest testimonies from members of the Band.  The music presented was almost a whole new repertoire for the Band and playing in a smaller ensemble was a different experience for many but very enjoyable all the same.  There was more good banter when it was made abundantly clear by Captain Bev at the start of the meeting that we weren’t to step on the wood at the front of the platform – we never really did find out why but I’m sure there was a good reason!

A thoroughly enjoyable and spirit filled day ended when we were sent home with a powerful and hearty rendition of Bread of Heaven, that could only have been delivered from the heart of the Welsh Valleys, ringing in our ears.  We were also forced to stay and eat cake to celebrate the 70th birthday of one of Abertillery’s bandsmen before we were allowed to leave – it was a real hardship!

I am sure I speak for other members of Band in saying that it was an absolute privilege to share in ministry with Abertillery Corps and it was a day and weekend that will live long in the memory.

Here’s a video of our “sending off” from Abertillery on Sunday afternoon.
Great singing from our Welsh friends, wonderful Christian people.

Abertillery Video (this video will open up in a Facebook window)

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October 2013
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