The sound of music WILL ring around Saddleworth on Whit Friday

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 26 May 2020

The Saddleworth hills will definitely ring to the sound of music on the day of the community’s legendary Whit Friday celebrations.

Although the famous walks and brass band contests have been cancelled due to the lockdown, a host of innovative ideas have sprung up to help keep proud village traditions alive.

For example, the Churches of Saddleworth are producing a Whit Friday broadcast to go out at 11am on June 5. 

It promises a mixture of band music, hymn singing, footage from previous Whit Fridays, prayers, bible reading and reflection. 

Rev Canon Sharon Jones, Team Rector, said: “Walking with our bands each year has been an important part of our life together since around the 1850s. 

“It is a celebration of faith, of community, of solidarity.

"Whit Friday follows Whit Sunday - Pentecost - a Christian celebration. 

“The churches have led processions with the bands and gathered at different venues for singing and prayers. 

“This year, although the walking and competition are cancelled, we can still join together online at 11am at: 

“This will remind us of all that is to be treasured and celebrated in our shared history, and in our ‘new normal’ future, whatever that may look like.”

This broadcast will also on the 'Church of England in Saddleworth' Facebook page (@CofESaddleworth).

Meanwhile, Saddleworth Day of Music is seeking villagers to post short films and links of themselves playing music to their social media  page.

They say: “It doesn't have to be brass - all instruments are welcome, including the human voice.

"Let's make June 5 a day of music in Saddleworth.”

Villagers in Diggle, who issued a clarion call across the community, are planning a day filled with a range of individual musical and other contributions.

They are staging a photographic competition at Diggle Band Club showing families and friends over the years enjoying the colourful event.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday, July 1.  

Information on how to enter will be on all Diggle social media groups.

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