The vicar of Hayling Island on the power of song at church
Churches create fantastic echoes.
This is something I’m reminded of whenever children come into the church and test out their voices.
It always makes me smile even, perhaps especially, when it happens during services. The youngest children who come into church are often the least inhibited, and they enjoy the sound of their voice amplified by the building.
For adults too – if we are brave enough – there’s something satisfying about singing or speaking in an empty church and hearing our voices echo back at us, very definitely ours but stronger and better than they usually sound.
It’s easy to imagine a divine being there in church who takes the best of us and echoes it back to us, so that the version of ourselves that’s returned is stronger and deeper than we could have imagined possible.
Try listening to an organ recital at St Peter’s Hayling (details are on our website), or a choir or band playing at St Mary’s, or to a concert at any church, and hear for yourself how the building magnifies the sound and often inspires the soul in amazing and unimagined ways.
Music is important in the church.
Singing as part of worship can help bring us into a place of stillness and beauty. It can help us draw closer to God.
And music has social and personal benefits too. Singing in a choir or playing an instrument can boost confidence, build community and keep our skills alive throughout our lives.
Listening to music can take us through the full range of emotions, helping us to cry or to celebrate.
Offering young people opportunities to play and experience music is vital, so they learn skills and experience the deep spirituality of music at an early age.
So St Mary’s is particularly delighted to welcome young musicians from Hayling College and the local schools to give their first afternoon concert at the church.
It is at 3pm on Thursday, March 22. It’s free, and everyone is welcome. Or perhaps you might drop in on another nearby church, listen to how your voice sounds in a holy place, and what echoes you might hear back to comfort or inspire you.
St Mary’s Church is in Church Road, Hayling
For contact details call (023) 9263 7649, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to haylinganglicans.co.uk.