On 7th March Ken Burton, Britain’s leading gospel talent, led a workshop in the Parish Hall. Gospel means “good message”, and Ken wanted to show that there is more to gospel singing than “Happy Days”. He proved it! Ken explained the importance of finding meaning in the songs - of singing “from the inside, to the outside”.

We warmed up by shaking our shoulders, vibrating our lips and singing “Love Lifted Me” whilst rocking in all directions. We sang many challenging and uplifting songs, including My God Is A Good God, Booma Lena (a Cameroonian tribe song), and Praise The Lord Oh My Soul. His charisma was infectious, and he had us part-singing, dancing and highfiving, so all cares were forgotten and inhibitions banished.

After delicious refreshments, we learnt “Total Praise”, a powerful piece by Richard Smallwood about a man realising that God is all his strength. The final “Amen”, sung in parts, had hairs standing on end. Come & Go with Me, a Ghanaian bluesy number, followed.

We learnt to use different parts of our voices, and even learnt how to pronounce words differently (to help us sound a bit less English!). So go became “gohhhhh”, you “Yeu”.

In the afternoon, we performed in the church. It was an amazing day and everybody involved felt lucky to have been part of it.

Fiona England