On Sunday, 3 September 2017, the Reading Central Band (Bandmaster Ian Clack) joined with the Oxford Salvation Army Band to participate in the blessing of the annual St. Giles Fair in Oxford. The fair, one of the largest in England, is held each year on the Monday and Tuesday following the first Sunday after St. Giles Day (1 September). The evening before the fair begins, it is traditionally blessed by local clergy.
The bands marched through town, playing to the many tourists who had come to the Fair. They then supported the blessing of the Fair by the Reverend Dr. Jonathan Jong and the Very Reverend Bob Wilkes, playing hymn tunes as part of the ceremony.
On Monday, 4 September 2017, the band was once again on duty at the Central Hall, taking part in a service of remembrance for the life of one of the soldiers recently Promoted to Glory. One of Sheila Hollamby’s favorite band pieces was Constant Trust (Eric Ball), which the band played at the request of her family. Members of the Central Southern Area Fellowship Band assisted with this offering.