Songs for the Soul at St Mary’s Church, Northchurch

Songs for the Soul at St Mary's Church, Northchurch.
Songs for the Soul at St Mary's Church, Northchurch.

Songs for the Soul

St Mary’s Church, in Northchurch was the venue for a sell-out concert entitled Songs for the Soul, performed by local singing group, The Friday Songbirds, led by musical director, Julie O’Gorman.

The church hosted a supper for the new co-ordinator of African aids charity, Phakamisa, a charity both St Mary’s and All Saints churches support.

The concert was opened by 12-year-old Aaron Floyd, from Chingford, in Essex. Along with his music teacher and promoter, Paul Bullen, he performed a number of songs including the first song he has written himself, entitled ‘I wish you hadn’t gone’.

Aaron will be performing in the summer to an audience of 20,000 at Jimmy’s Farm festival.

Julie said: “The evening was a huge success, raising almost £1,000. My group don’t normally perform, we sing for pleasure, so they have worked very hard for this concert and the last word of the concert was ‘Proud!’ as they punched their fists in the air. I am very proud of every one of them.”

Julie has 20 years experience of running a choir and Paul, professional songwriter/musician/promoter, who has worked with X Factor winner, Matt Cardle, and a winner of The Voice, are joining forces to start a new evening singing group in Ashley Green with 150 people already signed up.

Hemel Quaker Meeting

Quakers from all over Britain, including Hemel Hempstead, are preparing to visit London this weekend to attend a four-day conference of Quakers held annually in the city, known as the Britain Yearly Meeting.

Both spiritual matters and those relating to connections with world affairs will be discussed and decisions made for guidance during the coming year.

Fourteen Friends from Hemel Quaker Meeting will be travelling to London at the weekend and will attend the Swarthmore Lecture in the evening.

This lecture, so named after Swarthmore Hall in Cumbria, the home of Margaret Fell, has taken place annually since 1908.

The lecture is given by Quaker luminaries on subjects they choose. This list has included Gerald Priestland, Joslyn Burnell (the discoverer of the pulsar star) and Wolf Mendehl, a Watford Friend.

This year, Diana Francis, who has been active in conflict resolution in Europe, will speak about the Quaker Peace Testimony and its relevance in today’s troubled world.

At 7pm on Saturday, the main hall in Friends’ House will be full of chattering Quakers, catching up with old Friends. Then someone will raise a hand, and this will be followed by others, and the silence will ‘fall like a blanket’ in the hall.

Multifaith calendar

April 29: Ninth Day of Ridvan - Baha’i

(begins sundown on 28)

May 2: Twelfth Day of Ridvan - Baha’i (begins sundown on 1)
May 4: Visakha Puja - Buddha Day - Buddhist
May 7 Lag B’Omer - Jewish