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Welcome to My World R Dunn

Welcome to My World

Roger Dunn

  1. Can you briefly tell us a little of yourself?

Born in Scarsdale Hospital, Chesterfield in October 1937, I was the youngest of four brothers. I went to Highfield Hall Primary School which was great)...what I didn`t understand was why we had to put our heads on our desks after lunch, & pretend we were asleep!

I went to Chesterfield Grammar School, was bottom of the class in the Christmas Exams in Geography, realised that some work was needed here and came top in the Summer Exams.

My parents were Methodists, at Marsden Street MC, a very large, busy church. My father was responsible for bringing Reginald Dixon and Sandy McPherson, on different occasions, to play our Church organ. I took it for granted that you spent your Sundays at church.


  1. What roles do you have in our church?

Not so many as I used to do......Class Group leader, One of the Power Point projectionists for church services, member of Church Council, helper at Little Fish refreshments and Lunch Club, and until recently Church Choir Leader.


  1. Who was, or what were the main influences in your early life?

My parents had the most influence, Mum was always there, especially when I had a near brush with Peritonitis. Father was a good violinist, and encouraged me to play the piano....sadly I didn`t practise enough, and gave it up. They gave me a good start in life!

Two people from Marsden Street MC made a big impact on me, Margaret and Wilfred Allen. Margaret was our main Sunday School teacher, she spent much time helping us to understand what we were about, and Wilfred was Choir Leader, who encouraged me to sing, especially at Sunday School Anniversaries. Later, when Jackie and I married, she became the most influential person in my life.


  1. When did you come to Banner Cross Methodist Church, and what were your impressions at that time?

In 1969 we moved to Bannerdale Road from Crawshaw Grove, close to Banner Cross MC. This church had a large population in an equally large building. The church bustled with life and offered so many opportunities. There was a thriving Sunday School, later renamed the Junior Church, and many uniformed Organisations, and we were happy to become involved in one or two of these activities, bearing in mind that we had two little boys at the time. The main impression was that here were opportunities for all.


  1.  Have your first impressions changed at all?

They have changed in different ways. We have a smaller congregation, but the pastoral and caring spirit is just as strong, if not stronger because of the fewer people. Having said that it must be said that through Little Fish, Lunch Club, the new Singing Group there are examples of groups having that special outreach of their own. The ECO status is a new ideal, with the serious purpose of encouraging all people to be trustees of this world of ours. Quite recently, groups of up to 20 of our members have been able to enjoy a holiday together....a real breath of air for them, literally! And we still have dedicated members and friends working with youngsters in Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, badminton nights, bowling club, walking group, Bible study, Prayer group and still provide coffee mornings for social contact, but we would love to have more help. If I have omitted any group I apologise. It`s just different now!


  1. What hobbies or interests fill in your spare time?

Watching, instead of playing football, singing, playing Bridge (about 40 years now every Thursday, now most frequently at Broomcroft Nursing Home (so that Brian Payne can join in), gardening, family and church activities.


  1. Please give us one fact about yourself that we may find surprising.

My brother, Keith, wanted to exchange me, as a baby, for a friend`s toy train. A narrow escape for me!


  1. If you had one prayer request for moving forward the life of Banner Cross MC in any way, what would it be?

Look to the future with Jesus as your leader.   


Singing for Joy

What a wonderful dilemma I faced, when Alison asked me to talk about a favourite Hymn!  But how could I start? … there were so many factors to consider in choosing one favourite one: nostalgia, harmony, music, words, personal experiences etc.

For a bit of nostalgia …  “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah/Redeemer” - StF 465 … I remember first hearing this at the Chapel in Tupton, (near Chesterfield), when I was a young lad, and subsequently heard a Welsh Choir singing it on the radio.

A golden oldie, “To God be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done” – StF 94, with music and words fitting together as a praise hymn.

Choose it for its Words …. Music … or both?  It seems to me that some of the best-loved old hymns still have much to offer us, but at the same time do they appeal to current generations who have been brought up in such different circumstances?  It would require all of Solomon’s wisdom to work that out to everyone’s satisfaction.  Let me give you one such hymn that Tim Crome, our Minister, chose quite recently – a more modern use of words with a well-known tune: “Let Love be Real, in Giving and Receiving” – StF 615 to the tune Londonderry Air  … have a look at the words, especially the chorus:-

“As God loves us, so let us love each other: With no demands, just open hands and space to grow.”

One which appeals to me and has an interesting rhythm is StF 343 – “All My Days I will Sing this Song of Gladness”, and this shows how music and words combine very well together.

I have enjoyed so much the singing of hymns/songs over the years that I cannot really do justice to them in one short article, but I am still moved very much by one hymn that the Church Choir have sung several times recently:-

“The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want” – StF 1030 – the soprano descant is sublime when joined with the main tune … this is one for my funeral (hopefully some way off!).


Roger Dunn


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