Sunderland Millfield Corps celebrated its 124th anniversary on the weekend of 26 – 27 April 2014. The weekend, with the theme “Rhythms of Grace”, included a “Two in One” festival on Saturday. Guest leaders for the weekend were Major Joy Paxton and Major Lynda Levis, former Youth Officers in the Northern Division who served for over ten years in Tanzania, work partially sponsored by the corps.
The strength and depth of the Millfield musical sections was evident in the “Two in One” Festival on Saturday, where the junior and senior sections shared in an evening of true celebration. Danielle Winch and Ian Murphy (vocal), Daniel Thompson (trombone) and the Sunderland Millfield Band trombone and flügelhorn ensemble were the soloist for the evening. However, special commendation goes to Ben James and Charlie Richardson, for the way in which they doggedly concentrated on their footwork during the Singing Company’s presentation of Rhythm of Life.
The weekend theme, based upon Matthew 11:28–30, from The Message translation, was developed by Major Levis during the Sunday morning service. A number of photographs and a video clip were shown to demonstrate some of the work done by the weekend leaders during their tim in Tanzania. Major Levis spoke of the need to find rest from the distractions of modern life and to rely upon God’s grace. Junior Soldiers Bethany Thompson (piano) and Joshua Warrington (cornet) were the soloists for the morning.
The final meeting of this memorable weekend focused on the story of Zacchæus and his transformation from a cheating tax collector to a “Miracle of Grace” via a tree and the intervention of Jesus. Again, a video was shown, identifying further the work done by Major Paxton in her role as the principal of the Matumaini (People of Grace) School for Disabled Children in Tanzania.
Throughout the weekend, those “Trophies of Grace”, who laid the solid foundation for the Millfield Corps of 2014, were acknowledged. It was fitting that a photographic history of the corps, mounted in the YP Hall, captured many of these stalwarts. The cutting of the Anniversary Cake (made by Audrey Hook) brought the weekend to a close.
Millfield Matters newsletter No. 24, edited by Ray Brown