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WW1 church production gets TV coverage

A special CofE/Methodist multi-media event to mark the centenary of World War One featured on regional news programme BBC North West Tonight last night ...

A special multi-media event to mark the centenary of World War One featured on regional news programme BBC North West Tonight last night.
Brothers in Arms is a joint production by The Church of England in Lancashire’s Parish Mission Support Department and the Lancashire Methodist Church District.
The production had its opening night at Preston’s St Cuthbert’s Church on Thursday before it moves on to Lancaster Methodist Church this Sunday.
The BBC report, which can be seen here, tells the background story to the Chavasse twins who are the subject of the production, as well as speaking to the production crew. The BBC also tweeted about their coverage.
Using a combination of music, drama, film, images and readings Brothers in Arms tells the amazing story of the twins, Noel and Christopher, who were highly decorated soldiers who served with great distinction in WW1.
Their lives tell a moving and inspiring story of courage, service, sacrifice and faith lived out under fire and help to personalise the vastness and scale of the war.
David Banbury, Parish Mission Support Department Leader, said: “Both Noel and Christopher were inspirational North West lads, serving with great distinction during the war and were highly decorated for their bravery and courage.

“They were also deeply committed Christians and their faith, as well as their incredible duty and courage, strongly shaped their sense of duty and service and is a great witness to us, even today.”

David, who lives in Leyland, added: “There are strong North West connections with the Chavasse family; their father served as Vicar of St Paul’s in Preston, which is now the Rock FM radio station, and went on to be Bishop of Liverpool.

“Christopher served as a curate in St Helens and played rugby for St Helens and Noel was a doctor serving with the Liverpool Scottish Regiment. Noel won the VC twice, one of only three people to do so, and the only soldier to receive such an honour during WW1. He died in the action that led to his second VC. Noel also received the Military Cross.

“Christopher also won the Military Cross and survived the war, later becoming the Bishop of Rochester from 1940-1960.”

“James Gwyn Thomas curate at St Andrews Leyland, Martin Bateman a member of St Thomas’ Lancaster and Paul Critchley a local Methodist Minister* are all involved in the drama elements of the production and a team from both Anglican and Methodist Churches, including Leyland Methodist Church, are running the events.

David concluded: “We are running the two initial evenings as ‘taster events’ to encourage people from churches of all denominations to come along to watch. Then, if they are interested in having the production visit their own church, to get in touch with us.

“We had an excellent turnout at St Cuthbert’s last night and have already taken two bookings for future performances and are expecting more to come following last night’s event and after the event to come this weekend in Lancaster.”

The taster evenings are free. The production taking place this weekend is on Sunday at 7.30pm at Lancaster Methodist Church, Scotforth Road, Lancaster LA1 4TE and all are welcome.
Anyone wanting to book the production of ‘Brothers in Arms’ for future performances should contact Miranda Wraithmell, Parish Mission Support Department Secretary. Email her on or call 01254 658916.

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