I am pleased to let everyone know of choristers’ successes recently outside of choir activities. Elinor Webb, one of our youngest choristers, was awarded a green tag belt in kickboxing. Elinor is now classed as a senior grade and is doing well in this activity. Well done, Elinor.

Holly Bond, our Deputy Head Chorister, was successful a few weeks ago in her Grade 3 Ballet examination and is now practising hard for her Grade 3 Tap Dancing assessment. Holly also plays the flute and has accompanied the choir on several occasions when we sing the David Ogden anthem, “Christ has no body now, but yours”. Well done, Holly, and good luck in your next exam!!

Holly’s mum, Dawn, one of our adult choristers, recently took part in a 22 mile Walk The Talk campaign for Mental Health UK charity which is being supported by Lloyd’s Banking Group. There were a number of walks that took place in September all over the UK. The Cardiff walk began in Cardiff City Centre – to Penarth to Llandaff to Radyr and back to the City Centre. At the 15 miles marker, Dawn was ready to give up along with a number of others but she kept at it and the weather was very kind. Thanks so much to all in the choir who donated to Dawn’s sponsorship. She raised just short of £100.00. The team of four people Dawn walked with raised in excess of £780.00 and as a whole across all teams in her department and the walks they raised over £140,000 and this will be eligible for matched funding from LBG, which is a truly awesome amount. Well done, Dawn. You deserve this wonderful achievement!!

That’s Dawn with her five male walkers in the photo above.

Rhianwen Lewis is a talented young lady who enjoys competing with her school choir in the Urdd Eisteddfod and last year’s winning performance was stunning. I was amazed at the choir’s performance and also the enthusiasm of these young singers. Rhianwen has recently passed her Grade 3 piano exam and did so well that she is now working towards her Grade 5 exam. Well done, Rhian, and good luck!!

The church choir has been working very hard since half term to prepare new music and repertoire music for the Advent Carol Service on Sunday 2nd December and the Annual Nine Lessons and Carols service on Sunday 23rd December, both services at 6.00pm. This is a lovely time of the year for the choristers but very busy for the youngsters and adults alike. Carols by candlelight is a delightful occasion.

It has been disappointing to us all to see the decline in attendance at these evening services, as members of the congregation are finding it more difficult to leave their homes in the dark. Please do your best to offer lifts to those who would like to come but feel that they cannot walk to church in the dark and also try to bring a friend to these services as I’m sure they will enjoy the music and the participation in the singing of well-known hymns and carols. You never know………….

John Granger

St John's Church Maindee