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Hallelujah! Hundreds of Hymns

by Michael Ford last modified 03 Feb, 2022 10:51 AM

Martin Cooke, the ever energetic and enthusiastic Director of Music at Holy Trinity Bradford on Avon, is never short of ideas! So from 10am-6.30pm (pretty much non-stop) on Saturday 29 January, he was seated at the organ console achieving his 628 hymn challenge, which was every hymn in the hymnbook.

Martin set an online giving target of £628 to match the number of hymns he would be playing, but was amazed the night before the even to find that funds had already reached £2,649. The figure continued to climb, alongside cash donations on the day, so the total currently stands at £4,544, or a huge 660% of his target.

The funds will be split between the ever-increasing needs of Holy Trinity and a local charity named The Hub@BA15. They’re passionate about supporting people in the community; they provide a foodbank, access to computers, support completing applications, money, debt and benefits advice - together with a safe space and an all-important listening ear. As energy prices escalate, National Insurance increases bite, and inflation makes its presence felt, the need for the charity's work is all the greater.     

It was a happy and highly successful day all round, as the succession of hymns were enjoyed, and the Fairtrade tea, coffee and cake flowed. The warm and bright atmosphere of the church is always conducive to people sticking around and having a good conversation. There was many a happy, or sad, memory related as to why a hymn had been chosen. Sponsors and supporters gathered from far and wide. The idea was to play one verse of each hymn, but for ‘paper money’ Martin would play whole hymn - so one or two favourites were played several times. Now there is an eager anticipation for the next one, and a celebration of the difference Martin's efforts have made, both for the church and the charity. 

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