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Girton Parish News - April 2001
From the ship's log of HMS Pinafore
(a review of Girton Operatic's recent production)
The ship's crew was indeed an interesting collection. Among them were Ray Gordon as the Boatswain, Helen V. Smith as "Mrs" Carpenter and George Thorpe as Ralph Rackstraw, the sailor who falls in love with Josephine, the captain's daughter. They played their parts well and their voices blended nicely together in the trio extolling the virtues of a British Tar. Jeremy Harrison played Dick Deadeye, a sailor who stands apart from his colleagues. Although the script does contain the line "Ah, it's a queer world!", I have never seen the part played in a "camp" style before, but Jerry carried it off very well. Another of Gilbert's lines though was ignored, for Mrs. Cripps, otherwise known as Little Buttercup, is described as plump and pleasing. Whilst Laura Staves' singing and acting of the part was very pleasing, she could hardly be described as plump. Also enjoyable was the singing of Lizza Baines, as Josephine, who was convincing in both the serious songs and the comic numbers. She was joined in the trio, "Never mind the why and wherefore", by the two principal comics, Geoffrey Maitland as Captain Corcoran and Roger Few as Sir Joseph Porter, KCB. These two worked together particularly well and the trio was deservedly encored several times. The ladies' chorus, as Sir Joseph's sisters, cousins and aunts, were ably led by Claire Dewing as Cousin Hebe. Although their appearances were limited, they were never still and the choreography by Helen Thompson Garner deserves a special note.
Also deserving of praise was the impressive set designed by Helen Wilson and the lighting and special effects by Steve Winpenny.
No operatic society can perform without music and the orchestra under the baton of Petrina Lodge did them proud. Tucked away at the side of the stage the musicians play without seeing much of the show, but who knows, that might change. Girton Operatic has come a long way in just over ten years, perhaps another decade will see the building of an orchestra pit!
Rector to leave Girton
I have been offered the position of Director of the recently formed
Leadership Institute formed a year ago, and which is currently centred
in Cambridge. The main aim of the Institute is to provide training for
lay and ordained members of the Church of England. This will be carried
forward through their respective dioceses, in offering
insights, skills and practices of leadership for the huge and unpredictable
demands that a new era is placing upon all of us.
The scope of the Institute is wider than the Church of England in two respects. Firstly, it includes leadership development in the wider Anglican Communion, particularly in Africa, where training resources are practically non-existent. I have already run courses in Central Africa, and more are planned for East Africa.
The second is that the Institute also works with companies and non-profit institutions, providing in-house training and consultancy. Partly for the income, but also because of the 'cross-fertilisation' of insights, concepts, values and skills that are relevant to both 'church' and 'world', particularly now that so many companies are concerned with their corporate 'values' as a source of motivating and retaining the best staff in their company.
All of this will involve travel, but the base will continue to be Cambridge; precisely where in the area we shall be living is not yet finalised.
Thoughts turn swiftly to a successor, and the process is unavoidably laborious. As the Lord Chancellor is Patron of the living, the process will take six to twelve months after June. In this period of vacancy, the Churchwardens ( Nora Rutherford and Bill Orton) will have the legal and executive responsibility for administering the work of the Parish Church, with the assistance of our Readers (David Perril and Dugald Wilson) retired clergy, and others who may be invited from time to time to lead worship or preach.
I know that the congregation and Parochial Church Council will offer every assistance and encouragement, and the church is more than capable of self-organising for ministry, leadership and administration.
My sincere thanks for all that you have done for St Andrew's Girton, and for your continued and wholehearted support of the churchwardens in their task in the months ahead.
Finally, I wish you a blessed Easter and the hope of resurrection in these deeply troubled times for the farming industry, and all whose lives are affected by the foot-and-mouth outbreak in the country.
THE WEAKEST LINK
I am not sure I can see what the attraction of the programme is. The prize money is nothing compared to “Who wants to be a Millionaire” and the tension is, to my thinking, less than on “Mastermind”. As for Ms. Robinson’s rudeness, well she might think of herself as a school- ma’am, but anybody with her line in astringency would quickly be OFSTEDed out of the classroom. I just wonder if the popularity is because we can associate with the weakest links being shown to the door.
The phrase “The Weakest Link” does not appear in the Bible, although the word “Weakest” occurs once. It comes in connection with a man called Gideon who describes himself by saying, “my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family”. When we first meet Gideon he is the epitome of cowardice; trying to thresh wheat in a wine press, for fear of being seen by his enemies. Gideon felt weak and vulnerable and was so paralysed by fear that he could not see any way out of his situation. God knew that, but also saw the picture in a bigger frame; he saw the future, as well as the present, and knew Gideon’s potential, that with his help the weak could become strong. Gideon might have seen himself as “The Weakest Link”, but when the angel of the Lord appeared to him, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior”. “Weakest Link” to “Mighty Warrior” was some transformation, yet with God’s enabling, Gideon proved himself to be a worthy champion and leader of the nation.
Cleverness, money and beauty are all standards of the world, but God is in the business of working with the weak things. To the world, Jesus’ death on the cross might be an example of foolishness, weakness and failure, but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. Jesus humbled himself and died, so that we, the weakest links, might live.
Please come and join us in our farewell to John Kennedy on 11th May - everyone welcome.
3.30pm - 4.30pm Open House Party
Please call into the school office to sign a card, or send your greeting in on a self-adhesive label.
If you would like to make a contribution to a retirement gift, please bring to the school office by 27th April.
Susan Baker, Headteacher