All posts by Alan Mathew

Church Musician, Organist, Choir Leader

Remembrance Sunday

Our service on Sunday 9th November will begin at 10:50am, with Rev’d Eric McLachlan conducting worship.  We will observe 2 minutes silence at 11 o’clock.

2014 Remembrance Sunday

Youth organisations will be in attendance and take part in the parade after the Church Service.  All welcome.

November & December Choral Music

INTROIT – God of our fathers (tune Melita)
ANTHEM – Wherever you are

INTROIT – CH4 802 We are here to praise you
ANTHEM – Beauty for brokenness

INTROIT – CH4 802 We are here to praise you
ANTHEM – CH4 749 Soon & very soon

INTROIT – CH4 280 Alleluia! Hurry the Lord is near
ANTHEM – Love divine (Goodall)


INTROIT – Fanfare for Christmas (Martin Shaw)
ANTHEM – Come to set us free (Farrell)
ANTHEM – Candlelight carol (Rutter)
ANTHEM – Magnificat (FH Shera)
ANTHEM – Christ was born on Christmas Day (J Hodgson)




Williamwood’s Top-ten Christmas Carols


Have you ever wondered what the most popular Christmas hymns & carols are? Well at Williamwood this year we will discover our top-ten most favourite!!!

Christmas Carols are loved by many and we only get the chance to sing them for around 4 weeks every year. Some are long and some are short, some are old some are new! It is our intention to publish the result and use these results at some of our services during December.

So, get your thinking caps on! What is YOUR most favourite Christmas Carol??

Hark the herald? O come O come Emmanuel? Away in a Manager? Starry night? The list is endless! You only have one vote though!

Use the contact us option to tell us.

Thanks, Alan Mathew


Remember to include: Your Name , Your Favourite Carol    , and   your reasons why (optional)        

Reply ASAP, but at least by 14th December

Williamwood Music November 2014

Hi folks,

I can’t believe it’s nearly October, and already I have got the rough order for Christmas with the Choir all sorted, and have with the help of the choir done the timings and looked out the music from the vaults! Sometimes, as a Church Musician, you feel a bit like the supermarket chains – in that as one season finishes (i.e. Summer) you straight away turn to the next season (i.e. Winter) to get the preparation all in order. We’ll still be singing Christmas Carols and I will already have one eye on Easter – and the cycle continues!

Before I really talk about Christmas, lets have a quick recap of the new session so far. It’s great to see Jerry and Jean N back with us the choir regularly. We’re always on the look out for “new recruits” so two familiar faces are a welcome sight. It’s been a busy few weeks!!! We were the choir with no home on 18th September but enjoyed an “At home with the Little’s” instead of our usual surrounding due to the church being used as a polling station. We were very grateful to Jean and Neil for the use of their back room and piano and for the goodies at tea-time!

We’ve sang our way through various facets of Love and I have tried to play my way through various themes of Love at the organ. The theme will of course continue on a smaller scale as everything we sing in some way talks about an area of love, but the recurring theme will have stopped by the time you read this. We hope you have enjoyed it though?

Anthems have included old and new, and some borrowed over from Summer Choir. These shorter songs such as “Jesus us the Name we honour” and “Father we love you” are nice items and are easy to learn which means more time can be spent on the more difficult of anthems, so it’s a bit of a balancing act! One of the anthems that we have enjoyed learning is for Remembrance Sunday. The now well-known and much loved “Where ever you are” by Paul Mealor and brought to our ears by Gareth Malone and his Military Wives on the BBC. We hope you enjoy it, and with it being a modern item it really does suit a 21st Century Remembrance service.

We’ve been singing an introit each week and we hope that these short songs help ease us into worship, to help steady the mind and focus us on the act of worship that is about to begin. We stay in the choir stalls for these introits and we hope that we can be heard OK over the organ. Please let us know if the balance is not quite right.


The choir will once again take most of the service on 14th December, being the 3rd Sunday in Advent. Christmas with the Choir is always something I look forward to, and we hope that all you Inspire readers look forward to it too!

I want to make an Invitation to any member of Williamwood who might like to come along to our practices from mid-October (announcements will have been made in the weekly news sheet) and augment our singing for the 14th December. Our choir is very able to do this on our own, but it’s nice too to invite others to join us, especially at this joyous time in the lead up to Christmas. After all we only get to sing Carols once a year!!!

The readers for the service will come from our congregation, so it’s a real “in house” effort showing just how good “TEAM WILLIAMWOOD” works. If you have a burning desire to read at the service please let Alan know ASAP as the list will be completed by early December.

CAROL SINGING – I hope to take a group of folks Carol Singing in December to Aiden’s Brae. If you would like to take part in this, and perhaps song Carol Singing around the streets of the Parish as well, get in touch with me so I can take a note of names and keep you updated.

The Choir will have a well earned rest after the main service in December, but will start back with our Anthems early in January. Our first practice of the new year will be 8th January in the Session House. As usual an invitation to new members is always made, and warm welcome is assured!

Looking to 2015
As I said choir will start back on 8th January. All are welcome! We will be looking at our introits and anthems for a new year, but with Easter firmly in our minds! I mentioned in the last Inspire about the possibility of an all age & all ability event for Easter called “Resurrection Rock”. I first head of this 3 years ago from Iain Reid but we never had the opportunity to put it into action. It’s a wonderful combination of music and reader lead stories from Palm Sunday to Easter Day. You can read about it and hear some of the music here –

As a welcome spin off from the Open Doors day in September we look forward to the Williamwood High Young Musician of the Year taking place in our church in 2015. I’m sure that we are all so glad to have the High School once again using our buildings and interacting with us.

The events team are busy with that event and also an Organ Recital by myself in January and a Concert with Christopher Barr’s new choir Legato Voices later on in the Spring, so the music is indeed in good heart at Williamwood. Williamwood Music’s strap-line is “I will sing with the understanding” which is from 1 Corinthians 14 at verse 15. That whole verse reminds us that we should pray with the Holy Spirit that it within us, but pray so with intelligence and understanding; and also that we should sing in the same way – with the Holy Spirit that is within us, with intelligence and with understanding of what we are singing.

It is indeed my hope that we convey the real meaning of what we sing and that it does come from our hearts, where the Holy Spirit does dwell within us all. That we sing with conviction, with our emotions and most of all that we sing it with JOY.

Alan Mathew

Sunday 19th October 2014

Please stand (if you are able) as the bible is brought into the Church
INTROIT CH4 no.5, O Lord our Lord throughout the earth
Hymn 209 Father we praise you
Hymn 251 I the Lord of sea and sky
READING:St. Mark. 10: 46–52
ANTHEM Safe in the Shadow of the Lord
READING: Acts 24: 10–27
Hymn 201 Worship the Lord
Hymn. 458 At the name of Jesus (Tune Camberwell)

May God’s blessing surround you each day,
As you trust Him and walk in His way,
May His presence within guard and keep you from sin,
Go in peace, go in joy, go in love.

THE LORD’S PRAYER – Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

WELCOME TO CHURCH TODAY. Please sign our visitors’ book and join us in the large hall after worship where refreshments are served.
Large print copies of the Order of Service are available from the duty team.


  • We welcome Leigh Shiel at the organ in Alan’s absence.
  • Tea/coffee is being served on behalf of the Bible Society
  • The Reader is Grant Keyes
  • All Articles for November Inspire should be sent or e mailed to Joan Black by today. E mail – Phone – 638 5433


  • The Reader is Alan Mathew
  • Tea/coffee will be served by the Guild.
  • END OF “BRITISH SUMMER TIME”: Please remember to change your clocks BACKWARDS one hour on Saturday 25th October, so that you don’t arrive an hour early for worship the next day. Enjoy that extra hour in bed!

Many thanks to everyone who helped with the distribution of the Flyers advertising our Shopping Afternoon and Christmas Fayre. Your help is really appreciated. All the households in the district now have these flyers so hopefully we will have a bumper turnout!

The Guild meets on Tuesday 21st.October. The Speaker is Sheriff Brian Adair whose subject is “Tales from the Court”. There will be a sales table. A warm welcome is extended to all.

Our next visit to Mearnskirk Hospital is on Sunday 26th October. The PURPLE group are taking the service. Please refer to notice board outside the vestry for a list of names.

The Moderator of the General Assembly, The Right Reverend John Chalmers, BD CPS, will conduct a special service of worship in Netherlee Parish Church on Sunday 26th October at 6.30pm to which all are cordially invited. Refreshments will be served after the service to give folks an opportunity to meet the moderator more informally. All welcome.

CHRISTMAS PRACTICE WITH THE CHOIR-will be on Thursday23rd October. We will use the time from 7:30-8:45 (ish) for the Christmas stuff.

Saturday 29th November (Christmas Fayre Day) from 10am in the Church, Alan Mathew vs. CH4 (and it’s 825 hymns) Come along to support and sponsor Alan, in raising funds for the Lanark Choral once in a lifetime trip to New York to sing at the Carnegie Hall. I’m trying to raise funds by doing a sponsored battle of the hymns. I will try and play my way through the entire CH4 hymn book.

CHRISTIAN AID: Calling all swimmers – Christian Aid needs you! The local Committee’s annual Sponsored Swim is on Saturday 25 October in Eastwood Baths and you are invited to “swim for free”. Swimmers of all ages can take part and can swim up to 20 lengths of the pool at any time convenient to them between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. If you are unable to swim on that night you can choose another time that suits you and Christian Aid will cover the cost of entry. Anne and Ross will be delighted to hear from anyone who would like a sponsor form or even just more information on the event. Thank you.

Tickets for the Shopping Afternoon on Sunday 2nd November are now available from any member of the Events Committee listed below. If you are having a tea or coffee after church don’t leave without your ticket! Robert Coulter, Carole Ferguson, Irene Heffron, Christine Kemp, Norrie Kilpatrick, Margo King, Mary Montgomery, Betty Patrick, Margaret Robertson, Liz Taylor, Jerry Taylor, Joan Black.

Sun 19 October Deadline for Inspire
Sun 26 October Mearnskirk Hospital Service
Sat 1 November Sunday School Coffee Morning
Sun 2 November at 2.00pm Shopping Afternoon
Sun 9 November Remembrance Sunday
Sat 29 November Christmas Fayre + Battle of the Hymns

Sunday’s Music – 5th Oct 2014

Not surprisingly, today’s organ music and anthem from the choir has a ‘Harvest’ theme!

We Plough the Fields “Wir Pflugen” (Joseph Prentiss)
Now thank we all our God “Nun Danket” (Lani Smith)
We gather together to ask the Lord’s Blessings “Dutch folk tune” (F. Ritter)

These three preludes are based on the Hymn Tunes associated with Harvest Hymns. They come from a complete set of Liturgical settings for the Church Organist. The first two familiar tunes feature solo reeds and a nice accompaniment. At the mid-way section we hear the hymn tunes as we are used to, before the solo and variations come back.

The third prelude is based on a lovely Dutch folk tune. The tune itself is quite reminiscent to the same lilting slow-ish Scotch Snap rhythm that the Skye Boat song has. The words are quite nice too, and are probably more associated with American Thanksgiving and have references to praise and thanksgiving for all seasons and events… such as asking a blessing on us as we gather for worship, that we should sing praises to his name, and he doesn’t forget his flock. Moving on we think about God creating and maintaining his kingdom, and that he defends it for which we praise him. This may be the physical kingdom on earth we remember at Harvest or the spiritual heavenward kingdom that we enter in Salvation.

OFFERINGVariations for Thanksgiving (Colin Curtis)

This is a lovely gentle piece for flute stops and the softer Clarinet stop. It’s in the calming triple time signature and features the tune alternating between the bass and treble. This is an arrangement of the Dutch folk tune that is set to the words ‘We gather together’.   It’s not very familiar to us here in the UK but quite catchy and I’m sure you will hum along!

RECESSIONALFestival Postlude (Nelson)

We are today celebrating our ‘Harvest Festival’ so what way better than to finish off with a flourish? This Festival postlude has a solo reed introduction with quite a few quaver notes, followed by an almost responsive four part phrase. The middle section is a little more subdued with a new theme being introduced. Finally, we return to the joyous and uplifting flourish that we began with, taking us to a final and grand coda section for full organ.

ANTHEMGod who made the earth

This is a Korean folk melody and text arranged by John Bell for CH4. The music is gentle and lilting and has an almost Celtic air about it. Unison verses are followed by the harmonic chorus. The text reminds us a little of the bible passage for everything there is a season… moving on to spring new life and harvest cultivation being likened in parallel to the Passion, Death and Resurrection… ‘though dead and fallen, burst to life and rose up again!’

Enjoy the music! Alan Mathew, Organist.