All are welcome at Gillingham Methodist Church (GMC) for a very special Carols by Candlelight service at 7pm on Thursday 14th December. There will be the traditional Carols and Lessons, along with some lovely organ and piano music. Admission is free and the service will be followed by mince pies and refreshments.
It will be an especially poignant service, as it will be GMC’s last, says organiser Gordon Amery: ‘The building is being purchased by the local catholic church, so our wonderful Sweetland organ is safe, but Gillingham Methodist Church Society will be closing, as will Music at GMC.
‘Since it was formed in 2004 to fund the restoration of the organ, Music at GMC has held more than 200 concerts and these have greatly benefited numerous charities as well as church funds. Our concert last year in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal was probably the most ambitious, since it featured four famous organists, a concert pianist and a celebrity trumpeter – and we raised more than £5,500 for the appeal.’
A long-held dream
‘Over the years we have been honoured by visits from many famous faces in the organ world, including Ian Tracey (Liverpool Cathedral and City Organist), Thomas
Trotter (Birmingham City Organist), Thomas Heywood and David Briggs (International Concert Organists) and of course not forgetting the late, great Carlo Curley.
‘Our recent hosting of a performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius featuring David Briggs taking the part of the orchestra was certainly a highlight for me personally – it was the realisation of a long-held dream.
‘We are hoping to make our last Carol Service particularly special and we invite everyone to please join us. It would be good to go out on a high, with a large congregation to raise the roof during the Carol singing!
‘It just remains for me to thank everyone for their loyal support of our Music at GMC concerts over the last 19 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed planning, organising and attending every single one of them and also ensuring that our amazing Sweetland organ has been heard around the world.’