April 2018

What has butter got to do with music? Well, to answer that you've got to look closely at the Danish brand of butter Lurpak – well, I hadn't noticed it although we in the vicarage have bought this brand for the last 25 years, until recently I was thinking of the history of music and its association with the church. A lur is a wind instrument cast in bronze. Some say they go back to about 1000 BC. Incidentally, six lurs were found in Denmark by a farmer in 1797 in a in a bog – they were well preserved and playable. In some ways lurs remind me of Jewish shofars made of out of rams horns in the way they bend but shofars I have seen are not as long.

The Christian tradition of public worship and the roles of music and singing in worship is something we have continued from the Jewish tradition. The phrase "sing to the Lord" is common in the Old Testament. Perhaps, arguably, Christians use music and singing the most; maybe because we are told in the vision that the apostle John had that there are choirs of angels in heaven. We were given the words they were singing in Revelation 5: "Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!'"

However, singing and music is a gift from God to the world. Whether one is of faith or not or even of a different religion, peoples of the world have sung all through history. Where I was born in Sri Lanka there was a lot of chanting done by the monks.

Following this long history of singing, I am happy to announce that now that we are in an era of community singing, our Gospel Community Choir is going to go ahead from May 2018. We are grateful to Elizabeth (Izy) Sommerfield of Music Makers that she has made time in her very busy schedule to travel from Northampton to here. I have included a separate article with more about her, but suffice to say that the time that Izy is available is either a Saturday or a Sunday. The response so far from the people I have spoken to is that Saturday might be too busy for people, and so far there is a positive response to having it on a Sunday late afternoon, perhaps 4pm? There is still a lot of logistics to be sorted but we are now on the cusp of this exciting adventure of community singing. We need male as well as female vocals, pianists, organists, guitarists, violinists, music technicians, social media experts, leafleteers etc. I mean everyone – all hands on deck really! Who knows, people from Tilsworth, Stanbridge and Totternhoe, you might soon be singing on TV!

Happy singing

Kaushal David