Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Derry Church to get 'all shook up' as 'Elvis Presley' to enter the building

Derry Church to get 'all shook up' as 'Elvis Presley' to enter the building

St. Canice’s Church in Eglinton is organising an event with a difference for Sunday – not a service, not a concert, but a unique experience of ‘the Christian message through the songs of Elvis Presley’.

The event is a follow-up to a similar evening seven years ago which attracted people from all parts.

Asked where the idea came from, the Rector of St Canice’s, Rev’d Canon Paul Hoey, said: “I heard Elvis tribute singer, Andy Rodgers from Coleraine, singing at a concert. As I listened, it began to dawn on me how many of the songs related to the message of the church.

“This event won’t be a service, nor will it be a concert; it will be a unique celebration of what’s at the core of the church and its message, but presented in a totally different way, with live music from Andy Rodgers, video clips and audience participation.

"We hope that it will attract Elvis devotees, but also others who are just curious to see how songs that are not normally sung in a church setting still have a lot to say about the message of Christianity today.”

Elvis was known for singing some gospel greats, such as ‘Peace in the Valley’, ‘If I Can Dream’ and ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’, but there will also be focus on the message of his more ‘secular’ songs – many of which have a spiritual message.

Canon Hoey acknowledged that there might well be people who saw this kind of music as inappropriate for performance in a church. 

“There were people who objected to Jesus bringing the gospel into the market-place,” he said. “But there is a long tradition of the church using popular music to convey its message. Besides, it’s the same God who inspired the music of Elvis as he did the hymns we sing. It all gives glory to him.“We won’t mind if anyone turns up wearing their Elvis gear,” adds Canon Paul.

“I’m genuinely excited by the opportunity to welcome anyone who wants to come along.”

The ‘Elvis’ event takes place in St Canice’s Church of Ireland, Eglinton on Sunday March 3 at 7pm, and everyone is welcome. It’s Now or Never folks...