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New Mills Lectures: J S Bach, The man, the music
and the numbers

The third of the series of lectures was delivered by
Dr. Gordon Stewart and what a wonderful evening we all had. The church was packed with nearly 60 people who had travelled from far and wide and all were enthralled as Gordon brought J S Bach alive for us. He opened with the glorious Toccata and Fugue but we were told that it is not clear than Bach even wrote this wonderful music. I think everyone in the audience firmly believed that this was the work of the Maestro.

We welcomed Julius, a student from the Royal Northern College of Music, who played three movements from Bach’s cello suite in E flat. The first was the prelude, then sarabande and to end the evening, the gigue. The audience were so appreciative of Julius’s playing. What a talented young man. Gordon explained that Bach wrote 6 suites for the cello, each with 6 movements and 2000 bars in each suite which explained ‘J S Bach, the numbers’ in the title of the lecture. It was absolutely fascinating to hear that Bach was intrigued with numbers, adding up his name by the numbers of the alphabet – he even named one of his sons to have the identical number in his name. Gordon spoke with such enthusiasm, without one single note; there was much laughter as Gordon regaled us with fascinating facts about JS Bach, the man, the music and the numbers. Gill Collins

At our last church meeting and during several of our services we have talked about how we can reduce our use of plastic. below is an article by Jane with some useful ideas.

Some of you may have seen the recent BBC One series, ‘War on Waste’ presented by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani.

As a so-called ‘civilised’ nation and as a church, we need to take a stand on plastic waste.

Every single minute of every single day a truck load of plastic is finding its way into our oceans.

The worst offender is the single-use plastic that we use once and then throw away. We might handle this plastic for less than 30 seconds, but it takes centuries to break down in the environment.

Virtually EVERYTHING we buy in the supermarkets is wrapped or packaged in plastic. Very little of this plastic is recycled, even though we may place it in our recycling bins with the very best intentions.

665,000 tonnes of our plastic waste is being exported overseas every year. In 2018, China refused to take any more of our plastic waste because of environmental concerns.

We now export our plastic waste to 12 other countries, but by far the largest recipient is Malaysia.

Far from being processed and recycled responsibly when it arrives in Malaysia, a great deal of this waste is dumped illegally or – worse – openly burned, releasing toxic fumes and vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

As the plastics on these illegal, open dumping grounds break down, the effluent flows directly into nearby rivers and the sea.

Our plastics pollution is not ‘only’ affecting the waterways and seas that are ‘far away’. The problem of plastic pollution is right here, right now in the UK.

A scientific study of plastic pollution in 13 UK rivers was carried out earlier this year and it was found that the River Mersey was proportionally more polluted than even the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – widely considered to be the most polluted expanse of water on earth, with 2 million microplastics per square kilometre.


10 Easy Steps You Can Take Today to Contribute to the War on Plastics:

1. Buy a reusable water container – stainless steel ones work really well
2. Buy a reusable coffee cup – and remember to take it with you wherever you go!
3. Use beeswax wraps instead of cling film
4. Buy your own reusable bags for buying loose fruit and veg at the supermarket
5. Buy fewer clothes and, for those you do buy, get them direct from the shop instead of having them delivered
6. Visit the Zero Waste shop in Buxton, Day Zero, and see what other eco-swaps you can make
7. Take your own containers for take-outs or eat-in to avoid further packaging
8. Reacquaint yourself with your local milkman – just imagine how many plastic milk bottles you toss into the plastic recycling every week
9. You can recycle the following items at New Mills Coop: your crisp packets, chocolate wrappers, biros, highlighters, marker pens, dried-up tippex, toothbrushes (even electric ones!), toothpaste tubes and toothbrush packaging
10.Make your own eco-bricks using the ‘crinkly’ plastic that can’t be recycled in any other way.

According to Government figures, the number of single-use plastic bags used by shoppers at the 7 leading supermarkets in England* has plummeted by 93% since the introduction of a 5p charge in October 2015. This levy has made a HUGE difference. Let’s reduce our use of single-use plastic cups in the same way and lobby our Government to back an Environment Bill that slashes throwaway plastic by signing the petitions:

· UK Government: Introduce a charge for single-use cups
· Plastic free rivers

We can all play our part in the war on plastics.

*Asda, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco, Coop and Waitrose