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Calderdale Methodist Circuit : Andrew Jacobs

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Born in Halifax and christened in the Church of England (the building now sadly pulled down), my earliest memory of Church is going with my parents to a Remembrance Sunday parade service in Halifax, at Park Congregational, before they became URC. It was only a short time later that I received an invitation, via the boys who lived next door to me at the time, to join the Boys’ Brigade. So from a very early age I have been involved with the Church and this sowed the seeds for what has been a large part of my life, Church and Boys’ Brigade. Sunday services were obligatory, but for me never a hardship as I had started to develop a love of something which I am still passionate about, music, and Church services were a natural outlet for this and in particular playing the Organ.

Looking back I can see a path emerging that I am still walking today. Family members can remember me at the age of 4 or 5 pretending to play the piano on the coffee table in the lounge at home, I suppose it was inevitable therefore that I would be drawn to the Organ. Indeed, from what I can remember, the second I saw somebody playing it I KNEW it was something I wanted to do.

Cutting a very long story short, I got my chance to learn and eventually at the age of 10 years (about the same time I was being taught in junior school by a certain Mrs Stafford,) I got to play my first service.

It was the Organ that kept me in Church during my rebellious teenage years, long after I had left my first Church and was freelancing in many different denominations, Methodist, C of E, Baptist etc, wherever I was invited to play. Even today I have a great soft spot for Anglican services. I came to the Methodist Church permanently in 1983 and it was a very great surprise when in 1986, I heard the call to preach, finally becoming accredited in 1991. 
Like the organ, I KNEW it was something I wanted to do. I have served as secretary in the Elland & Ryburn Circuit since September 1997 and now, at the formation of the Calderdale Circuit, am taking on responsibility for the oversight of local preachers in training.

I was appointed Organist of Southgate Methodist Church, Elland, in September 1987 and I have had the privilege of playing the very fine organ there ever since, latterly becoming choir master as well.

I count myself as very fortunate as a Local Preacher to have the ability to bring to the preaching ministry the gift of music. The power of good music in worship must never be underestimated. 

I am still also in the Boys’ Brigade service serving in a company as well as being chairman of one of the sections and being an executive officer of the Halifax Battalion.

Other activities: well apart from those listed above, I am also a circuit steward in the new circuit, if I have any time left sport, (cricket and rugby union – strictly non-playing, I was not born to play sports!) reading, the theatre, there must be something I have forgotten. If anybody can come up with a clock that has more than 24 hours on it do let me know!