What a lovely afternoon and evening for the organ fund. The Cream Teas were a great success, and Jonathan's recital was the 'icing on the cake'.

This morning Dai, David, Dave and myself set up the chairs and tables for the cream teas and the recital (all the nave chairs were turned around to face the organ, which meant taking the link rods off, turning the chairs, and putting the rods back on again). Once we were satisfied we had done all we could, we went home for lunch. Jonathan arrived at about 1.00 pm to rehearse on the organ and get to know it again (with Andrew's help). I got back to the church at 2.30 pm with scones, cakes, cream, jam etc and quietly enjoyed putting sugar and butter on the tables whilst listening to the music - what a treat.

We had some early punters who turned up even before the urn had been filled and turned on, so they went away again, then it was all hands on deck as the others arrived to get set up in time for the 4.00 pm opening. It was a mad, confused rush at first, some of us weren't used to serving the teas and some were regulars in the church kitchen so knew the ropes, but we eventually worked out how to work with each other.  We almost had too many of us (Jill, May, Sylvia, Marian, Dave, me, with others chipping in too) but fortunately we also had great washing up support (Dai).  There was hardly a break in the flow of people wanting scones, cakes, tea, coffee and squash, all the tables were filled and we put two tables outside the church because the weather had brightened up to glorious sunshine with very little wind (after a chilly grey start to the day).

David was drumming up support by taking a tray of what the cream tea consisted of around the Stony Stratford Town Fayre on Horsefair green.  By 5.00 pm I had counted £150.00 in notes, by 5.20 pm there was £200 in notes, plus all the cash in the basket.  By ten to six when we were tidying to quieten down in time for the recital, I had counted £330.00 - it was amazing.

People were settling in seats by 5.40 pm looking expectant, and they kept pouring in.  We counted over 80 people in the audience by the time Jonathan started playing.  

Jonathan had chosen a lovely varied programme of music for our enjoyment and introduced the pieces in groups, with funny and interesting anecdotes about the composers or the pieces or the state of the organ!  Andrew turned pages for him.  We were able to enjoy the music on a summer evening with the church doors wide open to the town.  At the end Jonathan did a short encore followed by me presenting him a with bottle of wine, and reminding people about pipe sponsorship.  The audience was very appreciative after each piece and at the end, and I heard several very positive comments.

We sold off some leftover cakes and scones which brought the total for the Cream Teas to £356.80.

Tidy up and counting followed.  Several people were hovvering with bated breath to find out the total, as it was clear the donations basket was overflowing.  We had advertised the concert as free entry with retiring collection, and the result was as follows:

£100 cheque donation
£180 + £300 pipe sponsorship
£822.47 cash (including the cream teas and after recital donations)
£181.00 of the above was gift aided
£1372.47 Total
After taking the gift aid into account the Grant total should therefore be: £1,423.15

This is an absolutely brilliant result for the Organ Fund, and exceeds my wildest expectations for the day.

A special thank you goes to Jonathan for making the journey from Worcestershire - it was lovely to see him again and hear him play.  I would also like to thank Andrew for all the hard work ironing out some of the organ action problems and for arranging the tuning during August.  The Organ Fund group and all the parishioners who donated cakes / scones and helped out with serving teas also deserve a huge thank you.  The fund-raising event would not have been such an enormous success without such wonderful contributions.

Click on individual photos for a larger version

Jonathan Kingston Recital 31.8.09 programme