St James the Great, Claydon, Oxfordshire, 03 September 21

Our last performance in the ancient church of St James the Great, Claydon was on 26 April 2019 and it was lovely to be back again for a fund-raising ‘September Serenade’ evening in this beautiful building.

We so appreciated the warm welcome and the drink on arrival as we were setting-up – not least as it has been quite a rush from work for several band members. The team at St James were really well organised with nice raffle prizes and between us, we managed to win three times – though we put one ticket back so that others could have a chance.

It was nice to see a wide age range in the audience and we were able to provide two young boys who were near the front with egg shakers so that they could join in with these while the adults sang along with us. We’re delighted that the evening raised £300 and Revd. Hilary Campbell, Vicar of Shires’ Edge Benefice (Church of England churches in Claydon, Cropredy, Great Bourton, Mollington and Wardington) felt encouraged by this and though the funds are needed to maintain the work in Claydon, Hilary felt that the event itself was more important as it provided the first opportunity for the community to re-gather in the church and enjoy live music together.

Audience photo with Donald (rear centre) and Hilary standing near to Donald

We would like to thank Hilary for the invitation to play and for the encouragement she provides to us, Angela the church treasurer, and her husband Andy who helped with the event ‘bar’, along with PCC member Keith. Angela’s daughter Bethany helped Anne who is the raffle queen at all village events! Four other Parish Church Council members were also there to support the evening and we’d like to thank them and also Adele and Janice for their super publicity and promotion work. In her feedback, Hilary said: As always, you gave us a fabulous evening and I continue to be grateful for the way you generously offer yourselves and your musical talents.

Claydon band members (left to right): Richard, John, Elsa and Toni – photo taken by Rachel