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Gordon Stewart plays classical organ favourites

What a wonderful concert we had at Providence on Thursday 19th. The concert was part of the New Mills Festival and Gordon played to a packed church. Firstly, he reminded us of the precious gift of our Binns organ bought by five brothers, sons of the Hadfield family, local mill owners, who had the foresight to go to Leeds to the famous factory and in 1914 the organ was installed in Providence. What a day that must have been when it was first played in the church. It still has the ivory plate bearing the inscription ‘JJ Binns Patent Pneumatic Action’ and this is still working over 100 years later. The problems we are encountering now are with the pistons and all proceeds from the concert will be used to this restore them. Prior to the launch of the restoration fund we had a meeting when Gordon explained all the workings of the organ, with videos and photos taken of the pipe-work inside – well over 1000 pipes! He is planning to do this again in the future and we will let you know the date well in advance.
The concert opened with a march written by Scotson Clarke who was a priest but of all the music he wrote only his marches survived; Marche des Flambeaux was a rousing start. Gordon had asked for requests and we were not surprised that Handel’s ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’, Jeremiah Clarke’s ‘Trumpet Voluntary’, and Bach’s ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring’ were chosen. It was wonderful to watch on the screen Gordon’s hands playing on different manuals, particularly in the Bach. We don’t only enjoy wonderful organ music at Gordon’s concerts but are treated to many stories connected to the music. Apparently much of Bach’s music was lost when he fell out popularity. It’s hard to believe that Bach could ever be unpopular, when he wrote such music as his magnificent ‘Toccata and Fugue in D Minor‘, which was the next item. Gordon has recorded this many times, one of which is included on a CD recorded in America entitled ‘Spooky Music for Halloween’. He even receives an annual cheque for royalties!
The organ has many flute stops which were used in Haydn’s ‘Scherzando’. This was followed by ‘In a Monastery Garden’ by Ketelbey which is a very descriptive piece – we had birds singing on the flutes, the peace of the garden and the monks singing the Kyrie. Ketelbey’s music was so popular and he was the first musician to become a millionaire for his compositions which were arranged for a great variety of instruments, even a ukulele band. Sadly, he died in his eighties having moved to the Isle of Wight, with only 10 people attending his funeral, so it is good that today we can listen and enjoy his music which often brings a smile to our faces.
The following two pieces where composed by living musicians. Firstly, ‘Mozart Changes’ by Zsolt Gardonyi which was very jazzy and foot tapping, followed by ‘Prelude on an Irish Melody’ by Aaron Shows; the melody is sometimes known as the ‘Wexford Carol’. Aaron was born in 1989 and is now working in Hollywood, writing film music very successfully.
Well, of all the organ favourites Widor’s Toccata’ had to be included and this was a fitting finale to the concert. The applause was loud and long and Gordon gave us another of Aaron Shows’ compositions as an encore. This was a very rhythmic piece based on a Christmas carol sung during Advent in America.
The fund-raising is going well and over £500 was raised from the concert. Thank you everyone for helping us and a big ’thank you’ to Gordon for such a wonderful evening.
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


Some years ago, Beatrice and her husband converted an overgrown space adjacent to Providence Church into a garden oasis. Open to anyone, for many years this delightful spot has been available for quiet meditation, or a resting space before tackling the hill up to Mellor. Whilst remaining extremely enthusiastic our original gardener now needs some additional support to maintain and develop the space. Volunteers from Incredible Edible New Mills, a Transition project are now helping out.
Transition New Mills is part of an international movement which supports communities to think locally about how to prepare themselves for increasing climate change. Incredible Edible NM is cultivating community spaces to provide free food for residents and local wildlife. Gradually more herbs, salads and fruit will appear in the Tranquillity Garden for anyone to crop.
More information:
Facebook: IncredibleEdibleNM