Leigh On Sea News. Salvation Army Centenary – RAYLEIGH Salvation Army celebrated its centenary with a free community concert at their iconic building in Rayleigh High Street, where the corps has been based since 1923.
Salvation Army Centenary - RAYLEIGH Salvation Army celebrated its centenary with a free community concert at their iconic building in Rayleigh High Street, where the corps has been based since 1923.
RAYLEIGH Salvation Army celebrated its centenary with a free community concert at their iconic building in Rayleigh High Street, where the corps has been based since 1923.
There was standing room only as the rich sound of the brass band flooded out on to the street and passers-by packed out the hall on Saturday, July 8.
Jane Carvalho, (pictured centre in lower row) is community care ministry secretary.
She said: “We wanted to celebrate all we have achieved together and remind Rayleigh that we are here year-round for our community and open to everyone.
“These include our employment group that can help with everything from preparing a CV to form filling. There’s also a group focusing on wellbeing and mental health and social clubs such as Knit and Natter to name but a few.”
Ms Carvalho, who has been attending Rayleigh Salvation Army since she was four, got more and more involved over the years and began her role in the community care ministry 20 years ago.
Now, 64, she says she wants to do more than ever for the town.
“It really saddens me to see people struggling and if we can help just that little bit, it can end up making such a big difference to their lives and that is incredibly rewarding,”
“While it may be only July, families are already worrying about Christmas and every year we help around 70 local families with food, toys and gifts and we’ve done that since we were founded.
“Through that one project, we’ve helped around 7,000 local families, and we are always aiming to do more.”
Ms Carvalho encouraged people to join the Salvation Army: “You don’t ned to musically talented – I’m not.” she laughs.
“But I knew I could do other things to help and to be standing here today reflecting on all we’ve achieved so far and planning how we can serve the people of Rayleigh for the next 100 years, that is a very exciting prospect.”
The group welcomed Rayleigh councillor Danielle Belton, chair of Rochford District Council, Coun Jack Lawmon, as well as Anthony and Gillian Cotterill, leaders for the Salvation Army in the UK.
“For an organisation to reach 100 years is an incredible achievement,” said Coun Danielle Belton, “and I’m not only feeling very privileged to be invited to share in such a special occasion, but I feel proud of all they’ve achieved in our town.”
Coun Lawmon added: “The Rayleigh Salvation Army is right in the heart of our high street and this celebration is well deserved. We are so lucky to have them here with all that they do for our community.”
Picture: Band leader Neil (top row, right) gets his crew ready for the concert. Pic by Natasha Higgins