Monday, 23 December 2019

Christmas is coming!

Mother & Child
hand-printed linocut Christmas card
by Teresa Newham

The start of the Carol Service is one of the most evocative parts of Christmas - the first verse of Once in Royal David's City sung by a soloist, with the choir and congregation joining in the rest. At our church, those of us in the choir gather behind the font near the entrance while the lights are dimmed and one of our choristers sings the solo. Then we process down the aisle with our lighted candles,  while those of the congregation are lit. The church is always packed, with latecomers standing at the back.

We follow the usual format, with nine lessons read from the Bible, interspersed with Christmas music from the choir and carols which everyone can join in, before we process out again as everyone sings O Come All Ye Faithful, followed by a rousing version of Gaudete by the choir round the font before everyone goes downstairs for mulled wine and mince pies.  Christmas is coming!

Wishing you and your loved ones peace and joy this Christmas and a blessed and happy New Year.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Looking for Light

"Looking for Light"  by James Christie Brown
© Teresa Newham

Looking for Light  is a charity album in aid of Crisis, and the brainchild of James Christie Brown, the curate at St John's here in Southdown.  James has written and arranged the songs and recorded them with local musicians, children from the local Grove Primary School, and the Grove School Community Choir.

initial sketch, linocut print, finished article
© Teresa Newham

James asked me back in August if he could use a couple of my Christmas linocuts for the CD insert and if I would create a cover image. We settled on a star - James specifically wanted a chunky one - and I got designing. James was happy with my first attempt, and I more or less forgot about it.

 the back cover
© Teresa Newham

So I was thrilled to see the album featured prominently on an advert in our local town council magazine, and excited to see the CD itself a few days later.  The star really stands out on the cover while the other designs feature on the booklet inside, which credits the various performers and contributors, including yours truly.

the booklet inside
© Teresa Newham

I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to join in with this community project and I'm sure it will be a great success - the songs are so catchy!  The CD is available at £10 from three Southdown businesses - Jay's CafĂ© & Restaurant, the Carpenters Arms and Southdown Hardware - or find the album online at Bandcamp.

the advert in the Harpenden town council magazine Forum
© Teresa Newham