Heritage weekend 2010
Music is the theme of Heritage Weekend 2010.
Music and Methodism go hand in hand. Over the years Methodists have been well known for their hymn and choral singing. Charles Wesley the brother of John Wesley, who founded of the Methodist movement, wrote in excess of 6,000 hymns. Fred Pratt Green who was minister in the Otley circuit at Pool Methodist Church in the 1930s is another famous Methodist hymn writer. Fred Pratt Green wrote over 300 hymns including the well-known, “Christ is the World’s Light”, “For the fruits of This Creation” and the advent hymn “Long ago prophets knew Christ would come, born a Jew”. In 1967 he was appointed to the working party planning Hymns and Songs, a supplement to The Methodist Hymn Book, a task which was to set off his hymn writing career coincident with his retirement to Norwich at the end of his distinguished itinerant ministry.
For this year’s Heritage weekend taking place from 10th to 12th September, Otley Methodist Church has the theme of “Music at Otley Methodist Church: A History”. Over the years at Otley there has been a church choir, a Gilbert & Sullivan Group and currently The Chippendale Singers, well known throughout the local area for their excellent concerts, who use the church premises for their weekly rehearsals.
On Friday 10th September a number of local schools will be visiting the church, as part of their Key Stage 1 & 2 learning in Music and History, to look at the various displays and to hear the church organ being played. This magnificent instrument was built by Laycock and Bannister of Crosshills in April 1923, and replaced a much smaller instrument previously being used in the Church. The cost of the new organ in 1923 was the grand sum of £2,750 and today the organ is valued somewhere in the region of £500,000. There will also be a musical based quiz for the children to take part in during their visit.
On Saturday 11th September, the general public will be able to see the historical displays in the Church and Wesley Hall, listen to the organ and to other musical groups playing throughout the day. Coffee and cakes is being served in the morning from 10 am onwards and then from 12 noon light lunches will be available.
The highlight of the Heritage weekend takes place on the Saturday evening when Mark Topping will present his dramatic portrayal of the life of Charles Wesley in the Church at 7.30 pm. In September 2008, Mark presented his “An Evening with John Wesley” at Otley Methodist Church which was attended by an audience of over two hundred.
Mark is returning to Otley for the Heritage weekend to talk about John’s younger brother, Charles, who was a prolific composer and, as mentioned above, wrote over 6,000 hymns during his lifetime, including the ever popular ‘And can it be that I should gain’, ‘Love Divine’, ‘O for a thousand tongues to sing’, ‘Christ the Lord is risen today’ and the well loved Christmas anthem ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’. The title of this production is “My own familiar friend” and focuses on Charles Wesley the preacher, the family man and the poet. The drama throws light on his relationship with his brother, his devotion to his wife and children, his enthusiasm for Methodism and his fierce loyalty to the Church of England.
This compelling insight into the faith and life of Charles Wesley draws on a wealth of material from journals, letters, musical lyrics, sermons and other writings. The evening is the fruit of extensive research, compiled and performed by Mark who, during eight years as curator at Wesley's New Room and Charles Wesley's House in Bristol, gave hundreds of dramatic presentations to thousands of visitors.
Tickets for this event are now on sale and are priced at £6 for Adults and £3 for Children. These can be obtained by sending a cheque payable to “Otley Methodist Church” (along with a SAE for tickets to be returned) to: An Evening with Charles Wesley, c/o 76 The Whartons, Otley, LS21 2BS. Alternatively members of the public can pay on the door on the night.
We welcome all to visit the Church during the weekend to look at the history of music at Otley Methodist Church over the last two centuries. We are sure you will not be disappointed with what you will see and hear!
For any further details about the weekend please contact:
Matthew Burland, Church Steward (Projects), on 01943-874040.
Back to history of Methodism in Otley