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Story 86 - Musical Meditations in Mission

By Suzie Abramian in conversation with Nicola Gerrard from Lymm Baptist Church, Cheshire.
 
To hear more about Nicola’s story leading a pioneering ministry from Lymm Baptist Church in the village of High Legh please see story 81 ‘Mission on your Doorstep’ in stories of Missional Adventure).

Picture a beautiful 16th century chapel standing empty and locked up in a beautiful Cheshire village. In my visionary mind, this place needed to be used for the glory of God. I gained permission from the owner to provide an Advent Musical Meditation which consisted of a 45-minute programme of live flute playing, interspersed with inspiring reading delivered by husband. This initiative has been going for about 10 years now and over the years it has attracted people who wouldn’t normally go to church but would go to a classical concert. We found over time that local villagers were coming and then inviting their neighbours and friends.
The music consists of a mixture of Baroque, Classical and Contemporary Christian music. I begin each event by playing an improvisation which is my way of inviting the Holy Spirit to come and do his work, hovering over people and awakening their hearts. As the music is always solo flute, including the alto and baroque flute, it provided different tones and timbres. Occasionally I will use backing tracks specially created for me to provide variety.
The chapel is extremely cold with little to no heating, which makes the whole venture quite a challenge but, in some ways, it adds to the occasion. Over the years my husband and I have become bolder with bible readings and prayers, and in this environment, it has been well received. I have adapted the meditations over the years with the minister of Lymm Baptist Church (Jonathan Bramwell) accompanying me on the piano and playing on the ancient organ housed within the chapel. My daughter, who is training to be a professional ballerina, has even danced on occasions.
It is amazing to see how God can open up people’s hearts who would profess to have no faith. Music offered to God in this way can unlock the hearts of those who would otherwise dismiss the existence of God.
The Lord has given us much favour in the village over the years and I have been able to do a Sunday afternoon concert series and a series of musical meditations for Holy Week. We have seen this as a way of ministering to the people in our community and blessing them with the Lord. It has become very much part of our life here and I hope that in the future we will be able to do it again in his strength.
We have never really known what the Lord has done through these events but with comments from time to time it has become obvious that God has been doing what only he can do, and it is not for us to question it. Praise to his name.
 
Video of Nicola playing ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’ as a musical meditation in the Chapel in High Legh village.





 

 

 

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Deb Stammers
NWBA, Story81-90, MA_Pioneering
Sally Mann
MA_Podcast, LBA, Story81-90
Rose Uitterdijk
NWBA, MA_Pioneering, Story81-90
Nicola Gerrard
NWBA, MA_Pioneering, Story81-90
Red Letter
MA_Pioneering, MA_Social Action, Story81-90, LBA
Paul Revill
nba, MA_Pioneering, Story81-90
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