One of the church’s musical institutions will be at CRE National 2019 to inspire and challenge visitors.
Roger Jones (“I’m 71 but don’t feel it”) will introduce one of his new worship songs and encourage CRE visitors to sing it during Worship Wednesday. He wrote the Cantata, Jerusalem Joy, when he was a music teacher at an inner-city school in Birmingham in 1979 and was given a boost in the same year when the former National Christian Education Council asked him to write a musical about Robert Raikes, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sunday schools. More musicals followed – Stargazers, Apostle, David, A Grain of Mustard Seed, Saints Alive, and Greater than Gold – before he was appointed head of lower school at Aston Manor School, now an academy.
That promotion gave him less time to write music so he accepted the challenge of his local church leaders and began composing full time, forming Christian Music Ministries in 1984.
This year the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, presented him with the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship, recognition for more than 40 years as a composer, evangelist, worship leader and speaker.
‘Music has been a major part of my life,’ said the man who is unafraid to move across the musical barriers. He has written worship songs, hymns and 23 musicals. His two books, Worship Works and Spirit Works, combine to present his all-encompassing passion for worship and renewal.
‘One of the highlights of my ministry was presenting a musical in Israel with Israelis and Arabs,’ he reflected, ‘but later this year I have been invited to Abu Dhabi to lead local singers in my musical Rock – the story of Simon Peter. This was exciting and unexpected and came at a time when I was considering retiring. God had other ideas!’
Just days before joining CRE National 2019 at Sandown Park he will present his new musical Torn Curtain in Tamworth, Staffordshire. The recording of Torn Curtain features renowned singer Jonathan Viera (also at CRE).
‘I am really looking forward to joining the Worship Wednesday panel to share experiences and encouraging those interested in worship,’ said Roger. ‘It will be particularly pleasurable to join with Chris Bowater as we trained together to be teachers. I look forward to meeting many other lovers of music and worship at Sandown Park.’
Worship Wednesday at CRE National 2019
11am What on earth is worship? Chris Bowater, Lou Fellingham, Carla Jane, Roger Jones, Noel Robinson and Roy Francis establish an agreed definition and understanding. Interview and presentation – Lou Fellingham
12 noon Who on earth is worship for? Chris, Lou, Carla, Roger, Noel and Roy discuss our relationship with God and each other. Interview and presentation – Carla Jane
2pm How on earth should we worship? Chris, Lou, Carla, Roger, Noel and Roy discuss differing styles and genres of worship. Interview and presentation – Roger Jones
3pm Worship? Heaven help us! Chris, Lou, Carla, Roger, Noel and Roy discuss how worshipin spirit and truth requires the leading of the Holy Spirit. Interview and worship finale – Noel Robinson (plus Worship Wednesday team)