The local Jazz Group, Fisherman’s Friend, played for the opening and even orchestrated the “great switch on” at 6.30 p.m. Their particular fusion of the sacred and the amusing struck (or should that be blew) just the right note to set the festival going.
Later in the evening we were entertained by a group of children from Farnborough Road Junior School led by Mrs Barton. For various reasons their numbers were depleted and Mrs Barton feared that they would not be able to fill the church with sound. She need not have worried! The children showed great skill and professionalism and by the time they had finished there was barely a dry eye in the house. They were amazing.
The evening’s entertainment concluded with The Southport Youth Band. Their numbers were also reduced but, nevertheless, they ably brought the evening to a close.
Members of Farnborough Road Infant School began Saturday morning’s programme under the metaphorical baton of their teacher Mrs. Cookson. They too performed in a much smaller group than they are accustomed to and rose as well as their older school mates to the challenge. Once more tears sprang unbidden to many an eye not least when the children signed the first verse of "Away in a Manger"!
[I later met someone who had had a troubled week. The infants happened to be singing when she arrived at church. She sat and listened to them in the light of the trees and although her problems didn’t go away, she felt that “This is what it’s all about”, she felt more relaxed and gained a sense of proportion.]
They were a hard act to follow but John Cotterall “stepped nobly into the breach”. Or as it was the organ he was performing on perhaps that should be “pedalled into the breach”! (Ugh! Sorry!)
The day’s entertainment ended with the self styled “St. John’s has got talent” (see blog below)! This turned out to be a selection of Julie Ann Carr’s pupils of varying age and experience, all of whom (including Julie herself) are regular worshippers at St. John’s.
We would like to thank all the wonderful entertainers, their leaders, teachers, and parents, for giving up their valuable time during this already extremely busy season. God bless you all.