A Nelson church is preparing to welcome a deaf musician who will give a talk and presentation next month as well as further work with the renowned Manchester Camerata.
Paul Whittaker, whoh has been deaf since birth but became a much sought-after musician and was awarded the OBE in 2007 for services to music, will be at St Paul's Church, Nelson, on Monday March 11th, at 6pm.
Entry is free but donations will be taken to help finance this area of the church's work in Nelson.
The vicar of St Paul's, the Rev. Guy Jamieson, attended the same school as Paul. Together they played in their school orchestra and although their lives have taken different paths, they are both committed to the work of the Church in the service of their neighbourhoods, especially in the place of music and the arts helping to lift the spirits of local populations.
Meanwhile, the church has secured extra funding towards a working relationship between St Paul's and the Manchester Camerata.
Rev. Jamieson said: "Initially, funding was made available for work between St Paul`s with Manchester Camerata and the residents of two local care homes where many of the residents struggle with dementia, but now the work has grown to prove effective at a number of new levels.
"Following another successful grant application, the work is being extended into several local primary schools. It began via the church`s link with Marsden Primary School, where children already form a small choir to visit Hulton Care Home to sing and present the residents with gifts.
"Now, thanks to an initiative of Pendle Building Bridges which links schools from diverse local backgrounds, a new generation of children and their families can experience cultures and backgrounds other than their own. Manchester Camerata now join Marsden Primary's links with Holy Saviour and Trawden Forest Primary Schools."
"The visits of Manchester Camerata take the form of music workshops where the participants help to compose their own songs, and the language of music starts to both celebrate and bond the diversity that typifies our neighbourhoods.
"The work is proving effective at a number of levels - ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds are brought together in the care of the sick; all ages work as single family; Christians and Muslims as the children of one God, all in the service of the people of Nelson.
"These relationships are encouraging children, schools and families to experience the ways music and all the arts are crucial to the wellbeing of local neighbourhoods.