The Band at Valley Worship and All Age Worship by Revd Alex Pease

We have received some feedback from some of the congregation about the Band and how we try and lead the informal musical worship part of our services at St Mary’s Easton. Many thanks for letting us have your thoughts: please keep them coming!

Firstly, a bit about the sound level and quality. Unfortunately, church acoustics are not easy to manage as none of these buildings were constructed with modern worship in mind! One of the challenges is that the Band members have to be able to hear themselves clearly so that they can keep in tune and timing.  This  does sometimes mean things are a bit loud at the front. Secondly, getting the level right between the Band sound and the congregational sound is technically quite hard to achieve: especially if the sound is being controlled at the front. Also, sometimes David Parker (as leader) finds that he needs to turn his guitar up so the other members of the band can follow the timing, especially when it is hard to get everyone together to practice!!. We hope this has all improved a bit in the last months, but we need to improve more. 

So what to do……..firstly, David is going to recruit a small team of volunteers to control the master volume in the body of the church from within the congregation – from where everyone is sitting. This, with the investments we have already made should help. It would be great to get feedback from you to help optimise this. We hope and expect to be able to raise some funds to invest in the extra elements of a sound system that works for our purposes.  It will also help reduce the many hours of work that David and his team put in, continuously setting up and dismantling the gear. This will take some time to pull together so please bear with us: but we are on a good path already.

As to content. We launched the first of the new format All Age Worship at the 1st Sunday service this month (which we will probably now call the Family Service to make clear that the emphasis is going to be on children). There will be more “child friendly” song slots ably led by Tim, with actions. We are hoping to put some roll out carpet (which can be rolled up at the end) at the front of the church so that the children can sit there and be involved with the actions and singing and the talk.  

For other music (and the third Sunday of the month Valley Worship), we have been learning a lot of new songs and we hope you like them. As you gather, David tries to pick songs which fit with the theme of what is being preached. It is fair to say that some of the songs are of a new genre to some but we do sense many people becoming more comfortable and we do try and print the full song in the order we will play them to help this. 

That said we are totally open to suggestions. Please let us know the songs you like or the converse and new ones to learn. Everyone’s opinions are important.

So in summary, please do let us know, either to me, to David Parker or to Tim Clapp in person or by email via Beccy, bear with us as we try to get things right and feel free to come and join in…all ages and all abilities are most welcome!

Thank you so much to David, Tim, Vernon, Nikki, Antonia and Jessica and all the other band members for the enormous amount of talent time and effort put into our modern worship in Itchen Valley!  And to Chris Ellis for his immense patience and technical skill trying to sort it all out!


Revd. Alex Pease


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