JUST in time for their 75th anniversary, the congregation at
Stoneleigh, near Epsom, in Guildford diocese, had
reordered St John's Church to include a large dais that would be
suitable for community events, besides providing a flexible
worship-space. They wanted to share their anniversary celebrations
with the community; so they decided to organise a free concert,
open to all, to which local groups could come to make use of their
It proved a very successful idea. On the night, there were eight
acts, and more than 70 performers entertained a packed audience of
about 200. The acts were interspersed with interviews with members
of the congregation of St John's, past and present, and magic from
the evening's compère.
"We were delighted to welcome so many people into St John's,"
the Vicar, the Revd Lynn Hellmuth, says. "Alongside offering free
muffins to local commuters on the Friday, and a celebration of an
all-age communion on the Sunday, the community concert made a
splendid variety of events to mark our special birthday. Stoneleigh
certainly does have talent."