After leading us in 26 events over three and a bit years, the final chords of Robin Marks’ Revival brought down the curtain on Rachel Ganney’s tenure at our first ever RE event in Greatfield and, with our shorter that usual Autumn season behind us, I would like to take a few moments to reflect on what was an emotional evening for all of us.
I think it is fair to say that without Rachel and Paul, the RE probably would not exist. It was originally Paul’s brainchild … in fact, if memory serves, I believe he was talking with the Greenbelt worship team and rather opportunistically announced that we could do a Rock Eucharist for the festival if they wanted it. When they said “Yes”, Paul, Rachel and I had to get around a table and decide what one of those actually was and how we might pull it off. Even then, it is hard to see where it might have gone without Paul being married to a Minister who was just crazy enough to agree to lead one.
Since then, the RE has taken on a life of its own through its various versions, and Rachel has been a loud and enthusiastic advocate for the events in the church. She also became very much part and parcel of theREIGN family and we will certainly miss her insight, her humility and her desire to use this resource to bring God’s people before him in worship in new and interesting ways.
As far as I am concerned, it was quite fitting that her final local event (she will be “guesting” with us in Warrington in March) should be an experiment. Alison Gilchrist, vicar at St Hilda’s Church in Greatfield went into the event without any idea of how it would be received, how many might attend – or indeed whether anyone would attend at all – or what impact it may have on her Church.
That, ultimately, is what the RE is all about – bringing the word and worship of God to his people in an accessible and reverent fashion … and sprinkled with famous rock riffs.
Rachel, if you happen to read this, theREIGN would like to thank you, publicly, for everything you have brought to us, and brought us to, over these 39 months and 26 events.
We will miss you, and we wish you (and Paul) every blessing in your new church and ministry.