SCB in Risca

Bandsman Oliver Ridley shares his take on the weekend’s events in Risca:

The weekend’s Welsh campaign took place in different places: one half of the band, conducted by Deputy Bandmaster Roland Spencer leading the meetings at Abertillery whilst Bandmaster Keith Wileman led the other half of the band at Risca Corps.

Sheffield Citadel’s CSM, Glyn Evans, led the morning meeting at Risca with the theme “Made in the likeness of God.”  Although the band was few in number, the holy spirit’s presence was evident throughout as they played to a thoroughly receptive congregation.

The meeting started with a “get to know the band” time.  Each member of the band stood up and gave a fact about themselves.  The highlight was Greg Waters whose admission that he was “the best looking man in the band” was greeted with much laughter and jeers from his fellow bandsmen. Greg  had spent 4 years at Risca when his parents were officers at the Corps until moving to Felixstowe last year.

ISB Bandsman Paul Sharman has built up an exciting reputation through his compositions and his array of differing styles has quickly made him one of the Salvation Army’s favourite composers in the modern era.  On Sunday morning the band played one of his most recognised pieces: “Blessing and Honour” which uses the words “Your kingdom shall reign over all the earth.”  The triumphant words are given a modern, zesty twist and turned into a jazzy arrangement.  The band also played “Here is love” –  a more reflective work that uses the words “Here is love vast as the ocean, loving  kindess of the flood.”

After the meeting drew to a close, the band went to witness in the open air at a local supermarket where they used the opportunity to play light-hearted pieces to onlookers from a non-Salvationist background.

After an amazing dinner put on by the Risca dinnerladies, the band had had enough time to recharge their batteries before presenting a festival of music.  Andrew Mackereth’s “Dance Like David” and Erik Leidzen’s quick march “Manhattan” were played by the band as the congregation in South Wales were treated to an afternoon of celebration.  However, Victoria Lewis who gave the sermon, depicted a message of hope to a world that seems to have forgotten about religion and has been filled with untruth and sinful hatred.  Victoria’s message was plain and simple: “If you read the bible, everything in it is true.  Anything besides that message is false.  If we live our lives by the will of God then we will live eternally.”

As the meeting and weekend concluded, the general consensus was that the band had delivered a message that didn’t just challenge people’s minds but also offered a way to enhance the congregation’s spiritual points of view through the medium of the Holy Spirit.  We pray that the impact Sheffield Citadel made in Wales will last for many years to come.

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October 2013
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