With the new community expanding at Meon Vale, which is based on the former MOD Royal Engineers site, it was decided to host a Songs of Praise service.
The Shipston Town Band (part of Stour Valley brass) had agreed to support the service and St. Swithin’s choir had brushed up on the Vicar of Dibley version of Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepherd).
After a location change, due to a double booking of Meon Village Hall, to Quinton Village Hall the service was introduced by Revd Ros Greenhalgh who introduced the well known Shipston Town Band who accompanied the large audience with the first song “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah”. This hymn better known as “Bread of Heaven” is the staple of Welsh singing and in particular it’s rugby team and supporters, in full harmony.
So the children (and adults) could get involved several children’s songs (with appropriate actions) were introduced by Revd Ros, such as “He’s Got the whole world in his hands” and If I were a butterfly”. Tim Greenhalgh accompanied on guitar and Christine Anderson on piano.
Other songs sung with gusto included wedding favourite “Love Devine, all loves Excelling”, “All things bright and Beautiful” and “We are marching in the light of God” with it’s Zulu verses.
Then before the final conclusion the Choir of St. Swithin’s, led by Richard Belcher, sang the well known “Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd” , The Vicar of Dibley version, which was composed by Howard Goddall in 1994 for The Vicar of Dibley Director Richard Curtis.
Then as a finale we sang the rousing hymn Jerusalem “And Did those Feet”, and after a final prayer from Revd Ros the congregation were encouraged to stay for sandwiches and cake along with a drink.
Ros thanked the team behind the scenes who had created the food and refreshments and made sure it was moved over from Meon Vale.