Uplifting Gospel Service at Moruya

If you are anywhere near Moruya on the 20th May at 11am, there is to be another Gospel Service in the beautiful Moruya Uniting Church in Page St followed by a $5 lunch in the church hall.

The service will include the haunting soprano voice of Fiona Jones, along with soloist Jeff Westbrook, the ‘Sing Australia’ choir, and the town brass band under the baton of Denis Buckley. 

“It should be a wonderful, uplifting experience,” says Moruya UC Council Chair, Ross Hosking.

Gospel services are deeply rooted in African-American Christian culture. Probably they have been around since the 1700’s but in the late 1800’s – largely because of the emancipation of slaves and therefore more exposure to the prevailing white culture– they really took off. In this country we are well aware of such classics as ‘The Blues Brothers’ and ‘Sister Act’ – undoubtedly gospel services led to that wonderful musical style, Rhythm and Blues.

There are four features to Gospel: praise and worship style, quartets, choir and solo artists. Of course the unifying factor is music; the more spiritual and soul-full the better. Often, the massive choirs are fully robed and sing in most beautiful harmonies. There is movement as well but not quite the amazing dancing on display in ‘The Blues Brothers’. Who could forget the astonishing acrobats of the portly John Belushi ( or a good stand-in!) after he had ‘seen the light’ at a glorious African-American gospel service?

Now Kay Killick, experienced and successful organiser of many a Gospel service, Jazz service and Variety Concerts, has undertaken to organise another such Gospel Service at the beautiful Moruya Uniting Church on May 20 from 11 am. This will be followed by a $5 lunch in the church hall. It should be a wonderful, uplifting experience.

Kay can’t promise you the Blues Brothers, Ray Charles and the rest, nor was she able to sign up Whoopi Goldberg, but she has assembled a very talented group. The Moruya Uniting Church was the first granite building in Moruya and its high ceilings and design have created extremely good acoustics. The haunting soprano voice of Fiona Jones fills the church with such numbers as ‘Safe within Your Arms’ and ‘Amazing Grace’. People will be riveted by the beauty of this voice in this place; their only movement will be to brush a tear from the eye! Jeff Westbrook is another soloist who will sing a soaring rendition of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. ‘Sing Australia’ will be the massive choir, if not fully robed! Their combined voices will stir the soul and, of course, they will swell the singing of the congregation as they render ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’, ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ and ‘When the Saints go Marching in’, to name a few. The town band, under the baton of Denis Buckley, will provide true gospel style brass band music and, of course, that will assist the singing.

So please note the date in your diaries; May 20, from 11 am at the Moruya Uniting Church in Page St. There will be assistance with seating and parking. Don’t forget the $5 lunch and a retiring offering will be sought. Our beautiful church is a heritage building and the roof needs repairing in the style of 1864, a considerable burden for a small congregation.

Enjoy the Gospel Service.
Ross Hosking. Chair, Moruya Uniting Church