Every year, the second weekend in September, is National Heritage Weekend. Many places of historical interest are opened for the public to visit. There is also the annual Ride and Stride, a fund-raising event organised by various Friends of Churches groups. At St James we have been participating in this for a number of years. This year it was decided to extend what we did so not only was St James open all day to welcome those who were part of the Ride and Stride but we had various other things going on. A sale of bric-a-brac in the churchyard proved a great draw, wonderful refreshments were served in church, cakes & preserves sold and a barbecue. All of this seemed to encourage people in and we were busy with visitors all day.
For the first time on the Sunday an Organ Trail had been organised and many of the organs in Colchester were played for people to tour the town to hear. Various pieces of music were played and there was an emphasis on playing compositions by local musicians. We at St James took part and Mark played two of his own compositions, one written especially for St James’ Church.
He also did a tour of our organ explaining and demonstrating some of its stops and other actions. This was a very interesting and enjoyable end to Sunday morning. In the afternoon the sale in the churchyard resumed and in total we have raised a little over £560.
Thank you to everyone who helped in any way on the day and those of you who turned out your cupboards and attics for the sale.