St Giles’ Worship Band
The band is a relatively new eight-piece, who play regularly at the 11.15 Sunday service, and some weddings and other events and services through the year. All band members had been around at St Giles’ on and off over the years – except the bass guitarist, Roger, who came along to St Giles’ originally on the back of a family wedding and got snapped up as soon as soon his skills became known! Roger has played since his teens, all around the Black Country doing gigs in social clubs and pubs and with a rock band until he ‘got conned into going to church!’ more recently. Roy, the lead singer, also has years of music behind him, having been a semi-pro singer for 40 years, singing locally with a variety of groups, from the Baptist Church ‘God’s People Together’ to a Christian rock band and a 19-piece big band. His son Adam plays keyboard, together with James, the longest-serving member of the band, on main keyboard. James has played in various church bands since his teens (at Binley in those days) and has been supporting services at St Giles’ on his own since before the band, as it is now, was even a twinkle in the vicar’s eye.
For Andrew, also along with singers Sue and Pam, key components in the band, a group of such experienced musicians emerging was ‘like an answer to my prayers’. Seeking to have live music in services as much as possible, this was clearly limited when it was just Andrew, with a service to lead as well, and his acoustic guitar. These days, he co-ordinates the band and plays with them, but any one of them comes up with suggestions for music. Hence the band’s 100+-and growing regular playlist, a real mixture of fun children’s action songs and more reflective styles, all of them worshipful.
As for what makes the band special to them, everyone’s unanimous: playing the music they play together genuinely nourishes them spiritually, via both the group’s ‘togetherness’, and by each person’s awareness of their being guided by God’s Spirit as they play. This they hope in turn has an impact on those who hear them – ‘the language of modern free-form worship is much more accessible through song. If we can help create a spiritual wavelength, and in turn that helps people worship more deeply, then that’s wonderful,’ says Sue. For James, ‘music is the only way I’ve ever known a connection with God’.
Anyone interested in playing with the Band is very welcome to come along and have a chat after an 11.15 service. Practice night is usually Wednesday.