Twenty Wonderful Years 1991-2011

"HOW time flies” an often used metaphor but the Sale corps has been established for twenty years!

To mark this milestone the Worship Team decided to convene a grand reunion to coincide with the Corps Anniversary. After months of careful planning more than eighty former corps members from all parts of the United Kingdom and the five commanding officers from that period joined with the members of Sale Corps for the “Reunion”.

Special guests were Lt. Colonels Brad and Heidi Bailey from IHQ (Americas Department) and Songster Leader Sue Blyth (Gainsborough).  Sue had previously served as Songster Leader at Sale.

A reunion Band and Songster Brigade were formed to participate in the celebration Festival. The Band was led by Bandmaster Lyndon Kervin (Morriston). Lyndon had previously served in that capacity at Sale. The seventy three Songsters were led by Retired Songster Leader Frank Crowhurst. The Band opened the Festival with the Fanfare and Prelude “Lobe Den Herren”.  Sale Songsters sang “That’s what we came here for” and “Eagles Wings”.  Sue presented two vocal solos “Fields of Mercy” and “His Eye is on the Sparrow”. Sale Timbrels were reunited to give a sparkling display to the March “Goldcrest”.  Four DVD excerpts were shown, highlighting events, some quite humorous, from the twenty years history of the Sale Corps. Each presentation was preceded by recollection thoughts from four of the former Corps Officers,  Lt.Col Val Jones;  Major Yvonne Field;  Major Maurice Hunt and Major Cliff Allchin. The reunion Songsters sang “O Happy Day” and “ Holy Ground” the latter song featured Sue. The grand finale was a brilliant firework display!

Sunday’s worship was led by Lt. Colonels Brad and Heidi Bailey supported by Sale Band and Songsters, the Corps Worship Band “Souled” and the Young in Heart Choir.

The weekend concluded with a praise meeting which featured the Junior Choir singing “Sandyland” with audience participation! The Band played "Ein Feste Burg” and “Souled" led the congregation in worship songs. To bring the formal Celebrations to a final conclusion the Songsters sang “Total Praise”.  A fitting final “Amen” for a praise filled weekend.

The Reunion ended with light refreshments and the cutting of the “Celebration” cake by the International guests.  A great celebration had been planned and on reflection it was even greater than great! The Lord truly blessed every facet of the reunion.

The event could not have come to fruition without some stellar background work.  Joanne James took on the mammoth task of contacting the many people who had been part of the fellowship during the two decades of the Corps’ existence.  Martyn James collated video clips and still photographs and produced a souvenir DVD of events. Val Jones the chair of the Worship Team kept the motivation flowing throughout the many months of planning.

Written by Ernie Young