Singer/songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones will visit St Helens in December 2019 as part of his annual UK Christmas Acoustic Tour. We are delighted to be hosting this concert with Gareth at St John's Church, Ravenhead.
Tickets are on sale below for £3* per person.
You can also ring 07877 784589 (voicemail facility) or email us.
*We have tried to keep the ticket price as low as possible. If you do find this to be too high for your current circumstances, St John's Church would like to offer you free tickets.
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Gareth Davies-Jones: The Christmas Acoustic Tour 2019
The concert will be part of Gareth's UK tour throughout Advent which will take him around the country before the tour draws to a close in the days before Christmas.
During the evening, Gareth will play two acoustic sets featuring some of the best known Christmas carols and a few you may be less familiar with. Some will be set to tunes we've grown accustomed to, but in the spirit of allowing us to revisit the words and meaning behind the carols, some are set to new tunes composed by Gareth, who will also give something of the background to the pieces. Alongside these carols that have echoed through the centuries, Gareth will also play some of his own seasonal compositions.
So come along and you may hear acoustic renditions of 'In The Bleak Midwinter', 'Silent Night' or 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'; perhaps 'O Little Town Of Bethlehem' set to 'Kingsfold', alongside Gareth's own Christmas compositions such as a musical setting of Stewart Henderson's poem 'Best Wishes For The Season'.
Gareth will be selling his CDs during the evening and will be available to chat and sign any copies - a great idea for a Christmas present for your friends and family, or perhaps a little Christmas treat for yourself! Refreshments will be served during an interval.
It is late in the evening and in the year…
A last whispered greeting is conveyed by one neighbour to another. People are hushed except for the odd cough, splutter or soft shufﬂe as clothing rifﬂes over cold, old oak. The only light rises and falls from ﬂickering candlelight. Amongst the gathered there is expectancy, longing and anticipation.
Six men rise (for it was men in those days) and clear their throats. They begin to sing in a low drone like way, almost a chant. It would not be musical to some ears but yet the words they bring carry meaning, passion and devotion like on no other night in no other month of the year.
It is The Darkest Midnight in December and for nearly three hundred years the Kilmore Carols have been sung like this across the twelve days of Christmas in the Kilmore Parish of County Wexford, South East Ireland.
"I am constantly inspired by the many different ways that all round the world, the Christmas story is drawn down into the local tradition. Its message of new birth, hope and reconciliation understood by setting it against the backdrop of our everyday, our landscape, our seasons, our weather! This December, drawing upon the experience of nearly ten years of performing on the Nine Lessons Christmas Acoustic Tour, I’ll be travelling around the country trying to create a simple musical retreat - a space away from the hustle, bustle and busy of what Christmas might have become, but what it was never meant to be.
So, armed with a variety of instruments and a selection of stories and anecdotes, you’ll be taken on a journey through some of my favourite songs and carols of Advent and Christmas. Listen, sing along, remember, look to the future, lose yourself in the music. Whatever you do, the aim is to transport you, rather like that dark night in Kilmore, into the wonder and simplicity of the story that has only just begun."
St John's Church, Ravenhead - 150th Anniversary 1869 - 2019
Throughout 2019 at St John's Church, Ravenhead, we're celebrating the 150th anniversary of our church's consecration and opening.
This concert forms part of our Christmas programme for 2019, but is also part of a year of events and celebrations ahead of the anniversary date on 27th December 2019 - St John the Evangelist's Day. We invite you to come along to this event and be part of our anniversary year.
We have a loop system installed for hearing aid users. Please set your hearing aid to 'T' should you wish to use this facility. Accessible entrances and toilets are available. Designated accessible parking spaces are available at the front of the building on Crossley Road.
Free car parking with CCTV coverage is available at the venue. There is also street parking close to the venue but please exercise consideration for our neighbours if you need to park on the road.
From the M62: Leave the M62 at Junction 7 and follow the A570 St Helens Linkway towards St Helens. Cross a roundabout and turn left upon reaching a traffic light junction (new road layout) onto B5204 Elton Head Road. Take the first right onto Sherdley Road, then the fourth left onto Elephant Lane. Follow the road to a traffic lights cross-road junction and turn right onto Thatto Heath Road. Finally, after the park, immediately turn right onto Crossley Road and follow round to the church.
Thatto Heath is the closest railway station. The station sits on the City Line between Liverpool Lime Street and Wigan North Western. Please remember to check timetables for services into the evening.
The 10A service runs between St Helens Town Centre and Liverpool, passing close by Crossley Road as it calls at bus stops on Thatto Heath Road. Please remember to check timetables for services into the evening.
Gareth has released two Christmas albums, 'Nine Lessons' and 'The Darkest Midnight In December'. Both feature many of the pieces you'll be likely to hear at the concert.
Gareth tells us the inspiration behind his two Christmas albums and the Christmas Acoustic Tour:
"Every year, I’ve been putting aside time in December to do some very special gigs on the theme of Advent and Christmas. Music has always been an integral part of the Christmas season for me, yet often the carols and songs drift by on a high street wave of over-familiarity that takes away the original potency and impact their writers intended."
"So, armed with fresh interpretations, arrangements, melodies, and with a little background on the writers themselves, I hit the road with some of the best known seasonal works intent on helping people to look again."
"Year on year people have said to me how they appreciated some time away from the inevitable hustle and bustle, to sit back and re‐engage with the wonder of Advent and Christmas."
"The gigs are usually intimate, cosy events in atmospheric venues. The aim is to enjoy the music, hear the stories, relax in good company and reconnect with a story that has often been buried too deeply amongst our headlong rush to December 25th."