The recent ‘Festival of Music’ was a new June venture for the Ickenham Festival team, organised to take place during this, a ‘non-Festival year’. In conjunction with Uxbridge Folk Club’s Archie Macaulay, they arranged ten days of musical entertainment - a combination of folk, Big Band, choral and other music.
Highlights included a Ceilidh at the Village Hall and a Folk Day at the Compass Theatre. This featured the delightful Isla St Clair in concert as well as Folk groups and Morris dancers. On weekdays at lunchtime in St Giles’ we were treated to the music of the choirs of our various Ickenham schools.
The climax of the ten days was the Gala Concert at Swakeleys House, featuring the 114 ATC Squadron’s Marching Band, Vyners Swing Band and the ‘Stardust’ Big Band accompanied by glorious fireworks.
FROM THE URC ELDERS
Some of us are lucky enough to be able to go on holiday at any time of the year. But if you’re a teacher, or have school-age children, you may be looking forward to your holiday away in the next couple of months.
I’ve been told that the long summer break was originally intended to enable children to have more time to help on the land, with harvesting etc. Recently there have been calls to even up the school holidays and shorten the long summer vacation. But I suspect, as the tradition is so strong, the proponents won’t be very popular.
I do try to attend church when I’m on holiday in the UK. Although Nonconformist by persuasion I’ll try whatever the handy local church is in the vicinity. That’s quite often the Anglican church, being the only one in the village! Although faced with a different tradition one can find the unfamiliar services refreshing. Last August, holidaying in Fife, I went along to the service at the local Church of Scotland establishment. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the focus, and the minister gave a rather profound sermon on the subject. I wasn’t expecting that!
I know Ickenham is hardly a holiday resort, but we do sometimes have people visiting too. It’s always lovely to have visitors in our churches, and to welcome them in the same way as we are welcomed on holiday in the tourist spots.
Well, it does seem many activities, clubs and classes break for the school summer holiday. The Churches have no major festivals to celebrate, and Sunday School and Junior Church may just run “skeleton” activities part of the time while our regular children and helpers are away. Even our choir at the URC has a break from rehearsals!
However, the long summer holidays don’t mean that our churches themselves “shut down”. Life goes on. There are the usual weekly services, with Bible passages being read and considered, situations and people still needing our regular prayer, God to be worshipped, and his forgiveness asked. In the Ickenham churches, regular activities such as the Men’s Breakfasts, and Pray First carry on. And, of course, at the beginning of the summer holidays, there’s the great Holiday Club.
So whatever you’re doing, come and join us. It will be “Business as Usual” in church during the summer.