Pause for Thought with Ray Dadswell: Music, joy to the heart

Many, if not all, of the Old Testament psalms were written for choirs and pilgrims, and make mention of a variety of musical instruments, some less-frequently heard these days.

Psalm 150 is a lovely example ...

‘Praise God with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,

‘praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute,

‘praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals’ (verses 3 to 5).

Music, of all sorts, is a joy to the human heart and, for the most part, is too a clear expression of our God-given abilities, whether we acknowledge the fact or not.

An Eastbourne church has now begun its new series of Wednesday concerts, giving an opportunity for these ideas to be tested.

Hilary Coombes, who attends All Souls, offers background information.

“The concerts, which run from 1.00 to 1.50 pm, were launched some 15 years ago for shop workers and business people to come along in their midday break. Nowadays, with work lunch hours often reduced, our average attendance of 50 is mainly holiday-makers, residents, members from our own congregation as well as members of other churches, and, of course, the artistes’ supporters. All the musicians and singers are local and give their services free of charge.

“Carol Mounter Collins organises the artistes and church folk help with practical tasks, such as welcoming, refreshments and sound. The acoustics in All Souls, says Hilary, are most favourable and many very nice comments are received from both performers and listeners. Visitors are free to eat their lunch while there, and drinks are provided. Afterwards, there is a chance to meet musicians and soloists, which is a real bonus!”

During the interval, the vicar, Mark Redhouse, presents a much-appreciated, five-minute gospel talk.

Hilary is pleased that the church premises can be open during the week for people to go in and enjoy a wide programme of music, featuring modern song, poetry and satire with folk guitar, operetta, musical theatre, piano and violin, and much more. She herself, like so many of us, does not play an instrument, but delights in all styles from modern to classical, and supports Eastbourne Choral Society. We could perhaps join her at All Souls some Wednesdays ...

More details are available in the church or at the Eastbourne Christian Resource Centre in Seaside Road.

P.S. Time to look through all your books, and pass on what are no longer needed: Bibles, Christian commentaries and biographies. The Book Aid van, which distributes a million books a year mainly in African countries, will be at Victoria Baptist Church, Eldon Road, Eastbourne, on Saturday 26th May between 10am and 12 noon.