Mega-Update 1: The Past
Looking back there has been precious little news posted to the site since July of last year, in spite of the fact that lots has happened. With this in mind, the first part of this update will recap the highlights and lowlights of the past 9 months and set the scene for parts 2 and 3.
Paul and Rachel Ganney advised that they would likely be leaving Hull later in 2010 with Paul having taken a job at University College Hospitals, London. Not long after, Rachel was appointed as Team Vicar in the Parish of the Divine Compassion in Canning Town and they eventually moved down to the Big Smoke in November, although both have continued to make appearances with theREIGN since then. Thus began the lengthy and frustrating search for a new lead guitarist (of which more in part 2), and the short and completely non-frustrating search for a new minister to lead the Rock Eucharist events. Andy Simpson, Curate at All Saints’ Church, Hessle, was approached and immediately agreed to take on this role.
Kev Sargeson was also moved to London by his employer, initially commuting during the week but eventually (and inevitably) this will become a permanent move for him. Thus began the not quite so lengthy, but equally frustrating search for a new drummer (and again, more in part 2). David, Rachel and Andy began the process of pulling together the 4th incarnation of Communion On The Rocks, Taking The Step.
The band enjoyed a reunion with Richard Hill (formerly of St Barnabas’, Swanland) as they led a youth concert and open air service for his new church in Church Stretton, Shropshire, the first of several minibus trips to out of area gigs in recent months. RE4 was finalised and rehearsed ready for the Autumn series.
October opened with a very enjoyable concert in Withernsea (of which more in part 3), followed by the Autumn RE series which saw Rachel bow out (sort of) after events in Sutton and Greatfield, and Andy make his mark with an energetic outing at Holy Trinity in Barrow Upon Humber.
The annual Gathering took place in late January with no lead guitarist, a new keyboard player in Richard Fuller and a potential new drummer (alongside Kev) that unfortunately did not pan out.
The Spring RE season took in Swanland, London, Warrington and Anlaby with Andy leading the local events and Rachel the out of area ones: London, because it was her own church, and Warrington because they were looking specifically for a female minister to lead that one. Andy has settled in brilliantly and is gaining a particular reputation for his high energy style. I don’t think his glutes and hamstrings are going to forgive him any time soon, however.
Richard has also settled in well behind the keyboard, and will bring some new and interesting possibilities to the band’s sound and style.
All of which is a potted recent history of theREIGN. Making music together continues to be a joy and a privilege and while Paul, Rachel and Kev’s enforced departures bring with them a sense of sadness and loss, there is some exciting stuff afoot, and you can read all about it in part 2 and 3.