BCB was busy during a fabulous weekend of celebrating 125 years of Birmingham Citadel Salvation Army.
Rob O’Connor writes...
Visit of The Chief of The Staff and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle to Birmingham Citadel Salvation Army (UKI) - 16th and 17th September 2017
The Chief of The Staff and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, accompanied by Divisional leaders Majors Peter and Julie Forrest, joined Birmingham Citadel (Corps Officers Major Adrian Allman and Captain Clare Allman) for the 125th Corps Anniversary Celebration weekend.
With Mission at the heart of everything the Corps does, the first part of the weekend was an outdoor concert in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral in the heart of the City. This gave members of the Corps and The Commissioners plenty of opportunity to speak to those who were attracted by the music. The Chief spoke to people from Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden as well as many local people talking about The Salvation Army as a Church in the City.
In the evening a large audience gathered from across the UK, many were former soldiers and friends of the Corps for a spectacular concert, which started with “They Shall Come from the East” (Kevin Larsson). Starting in darkness with BCB percussionists and an unaccompanied vocal group comprising of members of the Singing Company and Songsters, the music grew to a thrilling climax with the full band, Songsters, children, African choir and lighting effects! All generations of the Corps were featured in the festival, from the YP Band and Singing Company, to BCB, the Songsters, Timbrels and African Praise Choir. The audience were treated to music with a nod to the past, and several new pieces written specifically for this occasion. Drama items by Sarah Grace and corps members on video clips provided laughter and challenge. The highlight for many was 10 YP Band learners playing a combined solo accompanied by the Senior Band. As well as “God is So Good” (Marcus Venables), the band also featured new compositions by Paul Sharman (“Undefeated!”) and Roger Trigg (“Faithful”) that were written especially for the occasion. The latter was a massed item that also featured vocalists. BCB also played Martin Cordner’s “The Adventurers” and Edward Mylechreest, who worshipped at Birmingham Citadel whilst studying in Birmingham, wrote a new congregational accompaniment for the evening. The finale was “Celebration” by Leslie Condon and featured all the performers and included pyrotechnics to finish the evening with a bang.
On Sunday morning there was a full hall for worship and the Chief of The Staff brought his inspiring message from 1 Chronicles Ch4 v9. He spoke about being obedient to God’s calling and then receiving God’s abundant blessings, many people came forward to kneel at The Mercy Seat in a very special moment.
The Corps then moved out in to the city centre again in the afternoon to their usual spot in The Bullring where hundreds of shoppers stop and listen to the music and members of the corps speak to those who show interest. The Commissioners “rolled up their sleeves” working the crowds and speaking to lots of people. The Corps had a giant photo frame made to capture pictures of people through the weekend and it was put to good use in the open air with members of the public having their photo taken and being pointed to our social media sites.
The Corps then marched back to the Hall as they do every week before the final meeting of the weekend, featuring all the musical sections. Commissioner Rosalie Peddle once again stirred the hearts of worshippers and many people came seeking God at the Mercy Seat after the Commissioner talked about Declaring God’s Glory and exuding his Glorious Joy.
It has been a marvellous weekend and the Corps was truly blessed by the Commissioners visit as they willingly joined in every activity that was planned. Birmingham Citadel thanked God for the past, has celebrated the present and is ready to embrace the future together.
Words: Rob O’Connor
Photos: Graham Daff & Rob O’Connor
They shall come from the east
BCB with 10 learners - God is so good
Undefeated by Paul Sharman
Assignment with the Timbrels