Summertime Greetings! Many of you will know that an important part of CJM’s ministry over the past 15 years has been their participation in the Birmingham Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. The pilgrimage has been an opportunity to lead people in music, and so in prayer, with a mixture of traditional and devotional hymns and chants to Our Lady.
It has been very strange for me over the past couple of years, being so involved in the preparations for the pilgrimage but not being able to participate and enjoy the experience. It was my wish to experience
it in a different way, by traveling out with my wife, Yvonne, and as last year, we have just made a private pilgrimage to Lourdes again. I suppose the main difference between the Diocesan pilgrimage and these personal trips is the ability to step back from the duties of our music ministry and to be a pilgrim. I took my guitar with me, of course and was privileged to play for the Torchlight procession and during the international Mass.
As a consequence, Yvonne and I were also invited to sing and sign for the Hallam Diocesan Thanksgiving Mass in the St Bernadette Church (Grotto Side). Last year, whilst needing to step back from the more public side of our ministry, I wrote six new Mass settings which Jo has been introducing in various settings in recent months. It gives me great pleasure to hear how they are being received in schools and parishes across the country, especially on the days that revolve around treatment and hospital appointments. As a consequence, I have turned my attention to some of the other aspects of the new translation and texts that perhaps deserve further reflection.
Some of my recent compositions include ‘Like the Dewfall’ and ‘Lord I am not worthy’ I know that many people have been praying for me and for my family. I want you to know that despite the very real and life-changing experience that anybody who lives with cancer knows, perhaps something that your prayers have given me is an inspiration and creativity that somehow accompanies me in these changed circumstances, to continue to turn to God in prayer and to find comfort in the gift of music. I wish to share some of these new compositions, and hope to play some small, local concerts in the coming weeks. They’ll be announced at relatively short notice, so keep an eye on the Boyce & Stanley Facebook page for details.
Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers. May God continue to bless you and your families, and the continuing work of CJM Music.