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'Christmas History' At Two Churches

7 Feb 1971
Rosegrove Methodist Church, Gannow Lane, Burnley and St. John the Divine, Burnley Road, Cliviger

'Christmas History' At Two Churches

Choir members Cherlyn Eastwood, Sharon Allan and Karen Roberts rehearse.

An unusual piece of music, "The Christmas History" by 16th century German composer Heinrich Schutz, was performed at Rosegrove Methodist Church and the Church of St. John the Divine, Cliviger on Sunday 7th February 1971. The performances were given to nearly full congregations in both churches, the Rosegrove one replacing the evening service.

Twenty-four members of Rosegrove Church choir were joined by eight girls from Ivy Bank School and five boys from Burnley Grammar School for the event, which should have taken place before Christmas but had to be postponed because the organist and choirmaster, Mr. John Smith, was ill. Mr. Smith said: "It is a difficult piece, one of the first oratorios, and its story carries on right into the Epiphany period." Soloists were Mrs. Joanne Smith (soprano) and Garrick Forbes (bass).

Following a fire in September 1982 Rosegrove Methodist Church closed and the congregation amalgamated with Lowerhouse to become Greenbrook.
An image of the church can be found on Lancashire County Council's Red Rose collection at https://redrosecollections.lancashire.gov.uk/view-item?i=241743&WINID=1610109218634