Stowey Church was transported back to earlier centuries on 8th July, when we were visited by the local West Gallery Choir, Called to be Saints, who were touring 3 churches locally and whose members gave a short performance in Church. Sadly, there were only a few of us in the audience, but we were transported back in time to earlier centuries, when such a choir and band would have provided the music for services from the gallery at the west end of the Church.

The singing was rendered with enthusiasm and the various instrumentalists provided excellent support for the singers. The leader spoke of the time when such bands as these were asked…or probably told…. that their services were no longer required and that they would be replaced by an organ (or in Stowey’s case, probably a harmonium) and choir. It must have been hard for a group which had dedicated their time and talents to serving the Church to be treated in this way. It’s a sorry reflection on what was obviously deemed to be “progress”.

Now to the future! In September we have 2 important events. First, on Saturday 16th September, Rev’d Dr Ian Mills will be giving an Organ Recital under the banner, “Serenade for September”. Before taking Holy Orders, Ian was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Derry Cathedral. He is now Rector of the Benefice of Chew Valley West. There will be more information next time, but entry will be free, with a Retiring Collection and then refreshments. Please put it in your diary! We’re in for a treat.

Then, on Sunday 24th September at 6.30pm, we’ll celebrate Harvest Festival in style, with the Choir of the United Parish, led by Tricia Rees-Jones with Jean at the organ, our good friend Tony Wilds leading the service, and no less a personage than the Bishop of Bath and Wells giving the Address. The Bishop’s most important engagement this year was standing at the left side of our King at his Coronation in Westminster Abbey. And he’s now accepted my invitation to preach in Stowey Church!

There will be drinks and canapés after the service. It will be an occasion not to be missed!

Jill Nicol, Churchwarden