27 Feb 2020 • Bowbrook News
BOB OUR ORGANIST – HANBURY’S TRIBUTE
It is clear from all our friends, contributing from Hanbury, that Bob brought music and happiness into all our lives in church and in our wider communities.
John Spencer remembers that he always helped with choices of hymns for services and would always be able to find a tune to fit new hymns we wanted to try. John says
‘He was an Absolute Gem – you could ring him up at any time and he would always say it was no trouble to help’. Sue Jenkins recalls that Bob made singing fun, playing the organ with tremendous verve and vigour- At the beginning and end of services he favoured great tunes, often from shows, so that it was hard not to dance in and out of church and maintain a proper ecclesiastical choral dignity.
John remembers dances at the Village Hall with Bob playing and Sylvia singing. At the time of Reverend Judge in the 1970s, he remembers the Chandler Girls performing ‘Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat’ in church with Bob accompanying. Bob embraced the age; - At work he drove long distances and at home he was building a swimming pool.
In the 1980s Sue joined the church choir with her daughters and remembers Pat Morris encouraging the children in the choir by bravely providing them free recorder lessons. Bob applauded the initiative, was note perfect in his accompaniment and, despite his bonhomie, was very professional in his support. Nobody talked too much, while waiting to take their places in the pews.
In the 1990s Bob supported our fundraising efforts with a Marathon Songs of Praise Hymnathon, lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes, playing 24 hymns in one session.
Our final Hymnathon, was at an ‘Open Door’ Service last August. Bob was waiting for treatment at the hospital. He had not slept for 3 nights and was in pain. - but he was completely immersed, while playing the organ, supported by his family- Sylvia and John.- He managed 15 hymns perfectly and didn’t appear tired – a tremendous feat.
After treatment, he came back to us, playing beautifully for what was to be his last Service of Lessons and Carols.
At the turn of the century we began to hold more family-oriented services at Hanbury. Bob was delighted to include children’s songs and would take the playing of ‘Happy Birthday’ as seriously as any of our more grown up hymns.
Similarly, Bob helped make weddings a joyful event. Chris and Kevin Wilkes remember him enthusiastically playing ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ while Richard and Katie skipped down the aisle at the end of their wedding.
During our weekly services Janet Winslow recalls that Bob was always there, as a steady presence, his music setting the tone of our services, an integral part of our worship. Breaking away from dated and studied solemnity, his choices of music spoke only of life and light.- the mixture of classical religious works, allied with the more secular tunes added joy and surprise and inspiration to our lives. She remembers Bob playing ‘Prelude to Te Deum’ by Charpentier and musing that it is also the theme music for the Eurovision Song Contest. Which was he playing? - God and Mammon indeed.
Judith reflects – ‘Bob was not only handsome, charming and talented but utterly reliable and insightful.The apparent ease with which he operated among such a variety of people and in so many different locations was outstanding, winning the hearts of all.He was the safest pair of hands imaginable and we loved it when Sylvia and John were able to along to church too.’
We will never be able to replace Bob and we will miss him. But, when we hear some of the more pacy hymns, we will smile and remember- Nobody plays ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ or ‘Phantom of the Opera’ like Bob the Maestro.
At February’s OPEN DOOR SERVICE, we welcomed volunteers Margaret and Trish from BROMSGROVE AND REDDITCH WELCOME REFUGEES (BRWR). We recalled the heart-breaking film shown in church by Naeem Arif during which a small Syrian boy, set in a desert of dust and broken buildings sobbed, ‘what have we done to deserve this?’ The ongoing project, which helps a small number of Syrian refugees to build new lives in new communities, continues slowly and surely, benefitting from the skills, talents and compassion of volunteers such Margaret and Trish.
Trish works on language acquisition, providing vocabulary for particular situations due to be encountered.For example, a man who had been separated from family members, was to be reunited with them in Germany.He was familiarised with all that he would need to understand for the journey.His next challenge, will presumably be to learn yet another language!
The fireworks of November were carefully anticipated and explained to these traumatised souls who have endured the cacophony of warfare.
BRWR raises funds for much of what is needed by the refugees and we were reminded that housing needs do not impact on local authorities.Happily, children are attending schools and some people have found employment through the careful support and integration which has been offered.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
A case of delicious ‘Refujuice’, which is produced by Pershore college from apples harvested by refugees, was sold in aid of BRWR funds. Supplies will be available in church three times a year, so do please ask if you’d like some – the quality is ‘top’ and the apples this year are Braeburn.
You may feel that you have skills to offer – please ask.
You may like to donate any of the following items in Hanbury church on any day – we will see that they reach BRWR.Collections of the following will be ongoing:
Adult clothing, practical shoes, backpacks, sleeping bags and blankets, dignity items
THIS MONTH, THE FLOWER GUILD will be planning the coming year’s duties, so please join us if you feel at all interested.The bring and buy sale will carry on into the afternoon and is open to all – see diary.Donations welcomed – please leave in church.
BOWBROOK NEWS SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2020
Many thanks to everyone who has sent donations for the parish magazine.
Please send to Rectory Gate Cottage, School Road B60 4BT or give to your magazine deliverer.Donations guide £7.00 for ten copies.
Lucie Olivia WESTON
David Morris officiated
Clara May JESSON & Eva Rose BOWMAN
Rita Holden officiated
Wyn Beynon officiated
Welcomed into the Church family
Deborah Ann JONES aged 58 years
Venerable Paul Taylor officiated
Donations to Cancer Research UK and
A Mindfulness Project for Autism
Thomas Brothers, Bromsgrove
All are remembered in our prayers
MARCH - CHURCH & COMMUNITY EVENTS
MOTHERING SUNDAY HAS DISRUPTED THE NORAML SERVICE PATTERN!
SUNDAY 1 MARCH at 9.00 am
BCP style HOLY COMMUNION
Led by Canon Keith
SUNDAY 1 MARCH 10.30 am – noon in church
FLOWER GUILD COFFEE MORNING and AGM
Bring and Buy
New members warmly invited to investigate!Please come along after the service.
2.00 – 5.00 pm
POP UP FUNDRAISING SALE IN CHURCH
Bring and Buy and all sorts!
SUNDAY 8 MARCH at 11.00 am
MORNING SERVICE preceded by refreshments
Led by Lay Minister John Spencer
SATURDAY 14 MARCH
JANET’S WALK - 3.6 miles (one steep hill/one stile)
10.30 am Leave church car park
Homemade soups and freshly baked bread on return
Dogs on lead welcomed
SUNDAY 15 MARCH at 11.00 am
FAMILY HOLY COMMUNION
preceded by refreshments
Led by Revd. Rita Holden
WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH 6.30 for 7.00 pm
STOCK AND BRADLEY FUNDRAISING FASHION SHOW
with clothes to buy
Bradley Green Village Hall - All welcome
SATURDAY 21 MARCH
FLOWER GUILD MEMBERS
Please leave posies by the organ
SUNDAY 22 MARCH at 11.00 am
MOTHERING SUNDAY SERVICE
with Hanbury Brownies
Led by Revd Barbara Wheatley
THURSDAY 26 MARCH at 7.15 for 7.30 pm
THE VOICES OF THE PAST – village hall
A History Group Talk by Dr Mike Jenkins
SUNDAY 29 MARCH at 10.30 am
NO SERVICE IN HANBURY
GROUP HOLY COMMUNION at CROWLE
Led by David Morris and Rita Holden