St Francis of Assisi Parish in Sandygate celebrated an evening of music and dancing in early June with their very own band, ‘The Grand Plan’. The Grand Plan is an 8-piece band, comprising mainly members of the congregation who produce a very professional sound. The aim of the evening was to bring the congregations who attend the two St Francis Masses on a Sunday together in a relaxed and social atmosphere, with music and wine and nibbles. The age of the audience ranged from less than one to over eighty-five!

St Francis Social s

The band started the evening getting people relaxed with some sophisticated lounge bar music, including Dusty Springfield’s ‘Son of a Preacher Man’, and Duffy’s ‘Mercy’. During the break there was a raffle which raised over £300 for Nepal. Then the band put on their dancing shoes, and had the whole parish hall rocking to music from Queen and the Monkees, amongst others. Petra and Maria have perfectly pitched and harmonised vocals, (even when singing Freddy Mercury), above skilful guitar accompaniment – Bob on bass, Jon B on rhythm guitar and Simon on lead – and the talented Tim on keyboard, with a strong beat laid down by Jon D and Greg.

Each week the community benefits from the generosity of the musical talent available at Mass. This social evening was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this talent in a more informal fashion with in-house entertainment. Altogether all the Parish had a wonderful time, from all ages and sections of the community.

The Grand Plan was founded in October, 2012, and so far has raised over £5000 for charity. The group pledge a donation to charity each time they perform. There is more about them on http://www.facebook.com/thegrandplan, with booking enquiries at thegrandplan@rocketmail.com.