Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Praying for Bath in 2009....

On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending the Bath Mayor’s 'Call To Prayer' at the Guildhall which attracted a large and appreciative audience despite the arctic conditions.

The event is an annual opportunity for local Christians – and indeed those without faith – to come together and seek spiritual guidance for the city for the year ahead.

It may sound “heavy” but it certainly isn’t and it turned out to be a relaxing and thought-provoking evening.

The Mayor himself, Tim Ball, spoke very well and with real passion during the evening and his Chaplain, the Reverend Melanie Reed, was also extremely impressive. She explained what prayer was and why she believed that you could pray into any situation – she admitted she prays for things as big as peace in the Middle East and as small as finding a parking space when she drives into Bath! – and she certainly made everybody feel comfortable and involved on the evening. I really feel she is a major asset to the local faith community.

It was also a night where we were able to see what a musical household the Reeds must be. I’ve already been dazzled by the drumming expertise of their son Toby in the past, but tonight I also got to see Paul Reed (the father of the house) in full throttle as part of the wonderful City of Bath Male Choir and the incredibly impressive Rebecca Reed who sang quite beautifully during the evening at the piano.

As well as the spiritual side of the evening, I was also greatly impressed to hear of the work of two of the local charities that the Mayor supports – his own Relief Fund (whose work was highlighted with enthusiasm by Nik Browne, the operations manager of the Drugs & Homeless Initiative) and the Southdown/Whiteway Community Project.
Reverend Ian Souter spoke eloquently about this project which is a splendid organisation for the area and one deserving of support.

All told it was a very enjoyable evening, the highlight of which for me was getting to sing (for the first time ever in my case) the hymn Abide With Me. To those of us who are football fans, this is an incredibly important song as it is lustily sung just before every FA Cup final and always produces floods of tears from hard-bitten footi fans.

There wasn’t too many hankies in evidence on Tuesday night but, hey, it was still a belting tune!

No comments: