APOSTOLIC FAITH MISSION UK
NORTHWEST & MIDLAND 2022 CHRISTMAS CONCERT REPORT
The Northwest and Midlands 2022 Christmas concert was made possible through the grace of God and the combined effort of all the members of the choir and orchestra from the entire region: Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry and Leicester. Below are the various reports from each branch and some of the images from the concerts. Happy viewing! (Coventry)
We give God all the Glory for yet another successful Manchester Christmas Concert! The concert featured a combined choir from the Northwest and the Midlands and also a cameo from Scotland. The congregation was filled with both locals and visitors, greatly anticipating another outpouring of God’s blessings through Christmas music. Brother Toyin Emitola, the local pastor and the regional director for Northwest and Midlands gave the welcome address as the concert began at 5pm, the congregation was then led into an opening Christmas hymn by Sister Chidi Agunu and the concert officially started after the opening prayer from Rev. Odejimi from Birmingham.
Brother Seun Idowu conducted the orchestra into a rendition of Overture from The Messiah, followed by Asofa Mma by O.A Boateng, an instant favourite with the congregation. The choir took over with Sing O Heavens by Caleb Simper followed by renditions of Past Three A Clock which was rendered as an Octet. The male choir treated us to a wonderful rendition of He’s Still The King Of Kings followed by a wood ensemble giving us Largo from Xerxes, HWV 40 and God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, a traditional Christmas tune. The choir then gave us two moving renditions which consisted of Good Christian Friends Rejoice by John Randall Dennis and He Smiles Within His Cradle by David Willcocks. This brought the concert to its halfway point, giving the congregation the opportunity to also sing some hymns which were led by Toyin Emitola.
After the interval, the orchestra began with The Stars and Stripes Forever and the Christmas classic “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. The youth choir took over with a Tiny Miracle By Pepper Choplin and a beautiful rendition of Somewhere in Your Silent Night Arr. By Joseph M. Martin. The female choir blended the voices beautifully as they gave us “Christmas Songs Of Joy” by Joseph M. Martin. Another favorite was the trumpet solo rendition of popular Christmas tunes, played by Brother Uyi. This rendition had everyone in a cheerful mood, with some children even singing quietly along. You could see amongst the congregation that the joy of the Lord was within. The choir then gave us two numbers before the sermonette, which were: All Glory To God In The Highest Heaven and Christmas Adoration.
Brother Delight Nyoni then gave a short sermonette titled ‘A Name Above All Names’. His message was inspired by the scripture in Philippians 2:9-11 which spoke about how the name of Jesus is above all names and this name is the only way to salvation. We were encouraged to call on this name, submit to Christ and remember the reason for the season. The choir gave us one last number titled Rejoice and be Merry. A short vote of thanks was given by Toyin Emitola, followed by a closing congregational hymn Hark the Heralds led by Brother Comfort Moyo. The Birmingham Branch Pastor, Brother Lazarus Simbanegavi came forward to give the closing prayer.
Just as the congregation were leaving the sanctuary, Brother Lanre Idu from Birmingham conducted a surprise rendition of We Wish You A Merry Christmas, which kept the Christmas spirit high. Both the congregation and the choir members could not help but share smiles during this rendition as it was very evident that the spirit of Christmas could be felt in the sanctuary.
After a brief welcome by Brother Delight Nyoni, the congregation rose up to sing the first congregational hymn – ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ after which Brother Toyin Emitola gave a benedictory prayer. Every presentation given by the choir and orchestra, was punctuated by a loud amen and an applause on completion. At the interval, the choir and orchestra took a well-deserved break while the audience was led in a song by Brother Lanre Idu called, ‘Angels we have heard on High’. Our young children too had an opportunity to showcase their learning and skills too as they presented a number of pieces. Shortly after, the choir and orchestra returned and the second half commenced. It is safe to say one of the crowd favourites in the second half was definitely the trumpet solo by Brother Uyi which was a combination of popular Christmas tunes that captivated and astounded the audience by the sound and display of skills. This yielded a resounding applause and cries of encore at the end of the presentation. Befittingly, a sermotte by Brother Godwin Jimmy was very reflective on the essence of Christmas and the greatest gift given to mankind by God. He capped it all with his Christmas blessings and wishes. Brother Odejimi gave a valedictory prayer after a congregational hymn – ‘Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem’. As attendees mingled in fellowship, we had the privilege of meeting the West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner – Simon Foster whose feedback was that he greatly enjoyed the concert and had not received Christmas wishes at the level he had got on the night. He looks forward to returning for the next year’s concert.
Thanks be to God for another proclamation of the birth of Christ through songs and instrumentals. The occasion was preceded by a congregational song ‘O come all ye faithful’, led by Sister Susan Adeyemo and followed by an opening prayer given by Brother Uche Anthony. The atmosphere was lifted as the choir cheerfully delivered each presentation, which was followed by a resounding AMEN and applause! During the intermission, the audience raised their voices in carols, whilst the choir and orchestra went out for a much-needed break. Two of our Sunday school students, Brian and Majesty Obia performed ‘O when the Saints’ and ‘Ode to Joy’ on their recorder instruments. The rest of the children joined in to sing ‘Jingle Bells,’ directed by their teacher. We thank God for the skills of the children and pray that God will continue to use them in his house. The local official Lady Godiva of Coventry, Pru Porretta, graced us with her presence. Although, she could only remain for the first half because she had another official event to attend that evening, she expressed how happy she was to be there for the event. Councillor Jaswant Singh Birdi, Deputy Lord Mayor, and Deputy Lady Mayoress were also in attendance. He gave the vote of thanks, followed by Brother Muyiwa Adeyemo with the announcements, and thereafter the closing congregational song was sung and the closing prayer rendered by Brother Mlambo. We were all delighted because it was a wonderful fellowship with brethren, neighbours, Stoke Health Community Hall staff, and, most importantly, the dignitaries who honoured the invitation. We thank God for the message of our Messiah’s birth that has spread as a seed that will germinate into righteousness. We anticipate more as our Lord’s arrival draws closer.
The Christmas performance began at 4:00 p.m. with an organ stroke, followed by the congregational song “O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM,” led by Sister Shamba (Leicester Music Leader), and an opening prayer. Leicester Leader, Brother Stan Nyakuhwa then announced the Christmas concert opened. The audience thoroughly enjoyed every rendition by the Choir and each performance was backed by a loud Amen! A short break was taken by the choir following the fifth performance and during their little break our Leicester branch Primary Pal and The Answer class came to perform their Christmas songs which lasted for about 10 minutes, after which the choir was brought back in and then the congregation sang “Angel we have heard on high” under the direction of Shamba. Following more heavenly singing and playing by the choir, there was a short Sermon by Coventry Leader on the reason for celebrating the birth of Jesus because he came to redeem us. Announcements of Leicester church order of services were given by Stan Nyakuhwa. Vote of thanks was given by Councilor (Cllr) of Nottingham Bilbrough-Ward Faith Gakanje-Ajala The last congregational song was “Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” and we rounded up with a closing prayer from Brother Sylvester Obidima, after which the Choir stood up to sang, “we wish you merry Christmas” to all the congregation. All glory to God. It was a successful concert.