Nantwich Concert Band perform at St Mary’s Acton (1) (1)

A “Proms Acton” fund-raising concert at St Mary’s Church in Acton has helped raise vital funds for the Royal British Legion, writes Jonathan White.

The concert took place in front of a sold-out audience on November 12.

Guests of honour included John Dwyer, President, Nantwich & District Royal British Legion, and Cllr Stuart Bostock, Deputy Mayor of Nantwich.

The outside of the church was bedecked with wood and crocheted poppies and poppy garlands.

The inside was decorated with Union Jack bunting. A focal arrangement was suspended from the archway above the entrance to the chancel comprising of a large Union Jack and two massive poppies, made by Deana Emerton.

The concert featured Nantwich Concert Band conducted by musical director Nick Birch.

Talented soprano, Jessica Thayer sang a number of songs about love in both the first and second half of the concert.

Proms - Jessica Thayer leads the audience with Land of Hope and Glory (1)

Accompanying her on the piano, was Stephen Clay.

Nantwich Concert Band performed Colonel Bogey (Kenneth Alford), Cardigan Bay (Jacob de Hann), Chicken Run (Paul Murtha), Doctor who (Murray Gold), Jerusalem (Parry), I Vow to Thee My Country (Holst), Nimrod (Elgar), Pomp and Circumstance No1 (Elgar).

The evening culminated in a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory sung by Jessica, draped in a Union Jack.

She then led the audience as they rose to their feet to sing while waving their Union Jack flags.

A representative from Nantwich Concert Band said: “Thank you St Mary’s Church, Acton, for having us back this year to perform a Proms Concert.

“Special thanks also to Jessica and accompanist Stephen for joining us. Most of all, thank you to the incredible audience – the church was packed. We’re so glad you enjoyed it!”

l-r John Dwyer, Stephen Clay (Pianist), Jessica Thayer (Soprano), Stephan Davies (Concert Organiser), Nick Birch (Musical Director-Conductor), Stuart Bostock (Deputy Mayor of Nantwich), Nick Thayer (1)

Mr Dwyer said: “The concert was absolutely fantastic with the Nantwich Concert Band leading the audience on a journey through a musical wonderland of tunes old and new.

“The conclusion to the concert was Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance which got the entire audience on its feet to sing Land of Hope and Glory. Oh what a night!”

Stephan Davies, St Mary’s Acton, said: “It was wonderful to see the church so full of happy people enjoying such fabulous music – a huge thank you goes to Nick Birch and the Nantwich Concert Band, Jessica Thayer and Stephen Clay for sharing their talents so generously”.

Nantwich Concert Band will perform a ‘Christmas Concert’ at Nantwich Civic Hall on Sunday December 10 at 2.30pm).

Tickets = £8 (under 12s free). Payment on the door by card or cash. Admission includes a mince pie. The bar will be open for refreshments.

Nantwich Concert Band perform at St Mary’s Acton (2) (1)

Future events at St Mary’s Church, Acton:

-Saturday 9th December (7:30pm) – ‘Christmas Concert’ featuring the highly acclaimed Acton Operatic Society, performing a medley of Christmas favourites. Tickets cost £10. Tickets are available at the weekly ‘Tea at the Tower’ community café, or please call Stephan on 01270-624135.

-Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December – ‘Christmas Tree Festival’. The trees will each be sponsored and decorated by parishioners, local societies, and local businesses. The tree theme this year is Nursery Rhymes.

-Saturday 16th December (7:30pm) – The Groves Singers will perform a very special re-telling of the Dickens’ Classic: ‘A Christmas Carol’ (Musical Director: Jon Henderson). Tickets cost £5. Tickets are available at the weekly ‘Tea at the Tower’ community café, or please call Stephan on 01270-624135.

-Sunday 17th December (1.45pm) – ‘Christmas Walk’, which will start at Acton Church before heading to Dorfold Hall grounds. Santa Clause will be there to greet everyone!

-‘Tea at the Tower’ community café – run by church volunteers and takes place every Sunday afternoon (2:30-4:30pm) throughout the year. Hot drinks and cakes are available. Donations are gratefully received.

-‘Tea at the Tower’ guided monthly walks. The walks are at a relaxed pace and the 5-mile route will mainly involve canal towpath and lane walking and only a small number of stiles will be negotiated. Stout outdoor shoes or walking shoes/boots are recommended. Ample car parking is available in the Acton village car park. All are welcome, including dogs on leads. Donations are gratefully received. All walks start from St Mary’s Church, Acton at 1pm (please meet for 12.45pm at the Church), and for those who wish to indulge in cake and a drink, walkers will be back in time to visit the Acton Church ‘Tea at the Tower’ community café. The future dates for the walks are: Sunday 17th December (Christmas Walk), 7th January 2024, 4th February.

For further information relating to St Mary’s Acton, visit

Poppies at St Mary's Acton

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