Today we at CMM say ‘goodbye’ and ‘fare-well’ to our dear Helen Pollard. Helen first joined us in 2002, in the role of Anna in the musical “Wildfire”. From 2005 onwards, Helen has been a valued member of the office team and the itinerant ministry. We have watched her grow up, grow in many giftings, and grow in the Lord.
Helen has played such a significant role amongst us, as a dear friend and colleague, and in so many varied roles. The “hole” she leaves will not be easily filled, indeed we should not try, but rather move forward and build on the excellence she has achieved in our partnership of spreading the good news of Jesus.
Helen, may He lead, guide and bless you as you continue to walk with Him in your new venture. We will miss you greatly!
Roger Jones and CMM office team
Here are a few words from Helen:
In 1999, Roger and the full touring party for Snakes and Ladders came to Trinity Methodist Church in Leicester for a pre-visit. I have since learned that the Leicester pre-visits were unusual – normally Roger would just take a handful of soloists and run through the musical with the choir. But in Leicester, the whole team came and spent the morning rehearsing while Roger worked with the choir, and then we would put together the very first run-through of the musical in the afternoon. This meant that in Leicester, unlike any other venue on a tour, local soloists were required for the rehearsal. So that day, I filled in a couple of solos, and my relationship with CMM began.
As an 18 year-old I was given a part in the musical Wildfire, and I began to take part in CMM events beyond the musicals, thanks to my relaxed university schedule. This included a first music week at Willersley Castle, where I first began to speak in tongues, and a memorable trip to Shetland when we made it (via three flights) but Devon’s luggage didn’t.
As the end of my time at university approached, Roger asked if I would be interested in taking a gap year and working for CMM. The Community of St John the Divine in Alum Rock kindly provided accommodation for me, and I became part of the CMM office staff, working alongside Phil Parkin as he administrated the Jail Break tour. When Phil retired, I convinced Roger to keep me on, initially part time but then full time, and I am so thankful to the sisters for looking after me so well up to the time I was married. It has also been lovely working alongside such wonderful office staff over the years – Lindsay, Katie, Anne, Tim, Nicky, Amy, Rachel and Gemma. Jane and Sophie – you’re in great company!
Over the years Roger and Annie bravely gave me more responsibility, first leading worship, then training choirs, then leading workshops and eventually leading teams on my own. I am so thankful to them for their love and support, and for risking things with me. It is very hard to grow unless you are given responsibility. I remember Roger’s story about regularly kneeling at the communion altar, taking a deep breath and relinquishing control of the choir at Christ Church Burney Lane to God – no doubt he had to do that many times over with God when it came to me!
Highlights of my time at CMM include the musical tours of Wildfire, Jail Break and Rock, trips abroad to Canada, Israel and Palestine, Cyprus and Ireland – as well as closer to home with Scotland and the Isle of Wight. The CMM Music Weeks have also been incredibly special, as they provided opportunities for me to get to know some of you, our wonderful supporters, at a deeper and richer level. It was also incredibly honouring to see some of the years of CMM’s teaching take the form of two books – although it was challenging harmonising Roger’s bullet point style with Annie’s fuller text!
I am also so blessed to have been part of EBRG – an incredible group of people who meet every week to pray and support the CMM team. Through them I have had the opportunity to practice the gifts of the Spirit and to see God’s transformative power first-hand. Their love and care simply cannot have a value placed upon it.
Over the years, CMM has been rather a springboard for new ministries (or releasing people into ordained ministry). For me, it has taken a long time but I am moving on to begin something new alongside Amy – also a CMM associate and Roger’s former PA. Reflected Light is to be a ministry focusing on bringing light to those in darkness through healing and deliverance with a strong prophetic element to it. If you want to find out more, follow us on Facebook or have a look at this blog post on reflectedlight.org.
So much love, and huge thanks to you all for your prayers, love and support over the years.
Just one last thing – we have a Wildfire singalong on Monday 27th September at 8pm. If you would like to book a slot on our Zoom call, email firstname.lastname@example.org