What a beautiful end of Summer morning it was in Rowley Regis for the Lord Mayor of Sandwell, Cllr Barbara Price’s Civic Service at St Giles Church. The Church sits on the highest point in the vicinity and can be seen for miles. In Fact the deputy Mayor says she knows she’s near home as the church appears on the horizon.
The Church has a resident owl – can you spot it!
In her first months in office The Mayor has assisted the Church fund raise for the cleaning of the monument of remembrance in the grounds. Bringing it back to former glories and in recognition of those who gave of their lives in the first world war.
The service was graced with the voices of the St Giles Singers who accompanied the hymns chosen by The Mayor and a special anthem was sung in latin: Misericordias Domini in aeternum. The St Giles Vicar is the Reverend Ian Sheldon and his sermon captured the history of Sandwell and the place of St Giles and far back in history the relevance of Jerusalem and the Middle East. However he concluded by referring to his recent ‘long journey’ to Wolverhampton in the North of the Black Country and to his visit to the city’ Art Gallery and in particular to one painting that hangs in the staircase – Christ on the rubbish Dump.
This 1955 painting by george warner allen depicts the Black Country and two of its deprived inhabitants against a backdrop of the ‘dark satanic mills’ and Jesus Christ offering help and protection. It was commissioned by the Cannon Abel Wood of the Black Country Industrial Mission.
The worshipful Mayoress read aloud her vows to serve Sandwell and were witnessed and welcomed by the congregation, Deputy Lieutenant Stewart Towe CBE and Mayors from Dudley and Walsall. Sandwell’s Mayor and Julie Webb her Deputy lit candles for those to close to them and Sandwell, before the procession was led from St Giles across the busy road to the Church hall where all enjoyed light refreshments and good conversation.
Standard bearers included young people from the local Scout Group whose welcoming hut is a but a stones throw away.