Third Hope Requiem

Saturday 6 April 2019, 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church

The De Merc Chamber Choir, directed by Alison Smart Fisher, perform a special Requiem for charity Third Hope Africa.

DMCCREQUIEM PosterA4Admission to the event is free, with all profits from the retiring collection going to Third Hope Africa, working for the long-term rehabilitation of ex-child soldiers in Northern Uganda.

The Requiem is an hour-long piece of choral music, written specially to remember the suffering and grief of the Acholi people and the tragedy of their abducted children.

The composer of the Requiem, David Salmon, and his colleague, Rose-Mary, have been working in Northern Uganda for a number of years to develop a programme of healing and restoration for those whose childhood was so desperately destroyed by being abducted by a rebel army and forced to fight. As David tells us: "It is a truly unimaginable situation, and yet, where we live, in these rural villages of mud huts and crumbling schools, it has become the norm.

"We are thrilled that De Merc Chamber Choir have agreed to sing the Requiem in April and we pray that some people (choir members and audience) will get a glimpse, in a small way, into something of this largely forgotten humanitarian tragedy.

"We know that it is only in fellowship with others that we will find a way through to the healing and hope that awaits these abandoned young people. So it is with gratitude that we are able to sing and intercede from them with you all at St Andrew's through this piece. We look forward to meeting you in April."

For more information, please visit the De Merc Chamber Choir website or the Third Hope website, where the following information has been sourced:

What is a Requiem?

The word ‘requiem’ means rest, and the heart of the sung Requiem is a prayer for those who have departed the world, that they will be granted eternal rest.

Usually, a Requiem will be sung for someone seen as important or significant – a King or Head of State. This Requiem is sung exclusively for the forgotten, for the powerless and for the unknown. It is dedicated to the child soldiers of northern Uganda.

For over twenty years, northern Uganda was ravaged by civil war. A war that will be forever marked out in history as one in which child-soldiers were most brutally and systematically abused.

Many thousands were killed, their bodies never recovered because their families do not have the means to locate them for burial. The wider community is also too poor to help effectively. It is doing what it can to support but with so much need, it is struggling.

This Requiem is a small gesture in the vast sea of need, but it is a gesture nonetheless – a refusal to shut out their pain. And more than that, it is a commitment to share the pain that is in the heart of the eternal father of us all and to do what we can to show love to those who need it.

We commit to remember these lives – the ones who died and the ones who are alive but still carry the scars of death inside them. This Requiem was written to say to them, “You are not alone”.

During the performance, images will be shown on screen. Please be warned that some images may be upsetting to young children.