‘FAITH-the musical’ is currently touring around UK stake centres. The cast, choir and production crew consists largely of members from the Cheltenham Stake where the musical originated, with others travelling from all over the UK. The team willingly give of their time and talents to sing praises unto the Lord and honour early British pioneers who heeded a Prophet’s call to “Come to Zion”.
The musical relates the factual account of the Oakey family who joined the Church within what is now the Cheltenham Stake. The family joined the Willie and Martin Handcart companies and travelled by foot on a perilous journey of over a thousand miles to reach the Salt Lake Valley.
The full scale theatre production debuted at the Bacon Theatre in Cheltenham and went on to the Conference Center Theatre in Salt Lake City. It has since been adapted into a travelling fireside presentation which particularly invites those who are new in the gospel to come and feel of the Spirit.
Former Cheltenham Stake President, Ben Lowater who commissioned the musical and co-wrote the original script, plays the part of Thomas Oakey and narrates the fireside presentation. President Lowater comments “The events of the lives of British Pioneers truly inspires us today with hope, courage and faith.”
Martin Lock, from the previous London Temple presidency, plays the role of influential early pioneer John Benbow from Herefordshire. Bro Lock reflects on the fireside by saying “It will inspire and provide a deeper insight and appreciation of our pioneering heritage – a story of strength and commitment to the cause of truth and the establishment of the restored Church.”
Bishop David Markham who composed the music and directs the musical said of the music “virtually all the songs speak of Christ, of His atoning sacrifice and of His redeeming love; a powerful work composed whilst under the inspiration of the Spirit and dedicated to all those who have sacrificed their lives for the Lord.”
Everyone involved in the musical has felt of the profound promise found in Doctrine and Covenants 25:12 “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the heart is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.”
The tour began in April 2013 visiting stake centres in Hyde Park, Wandsworth, Stevenage and Birmingham and will travel to Belfast, Merthyr Tydfil, Poole, Plymouth, Reading and Bristol. Through 2014 the fireside plans to visit Stake Centres in Glasgow, Crawley, Maidstone, Portsmouth, Northampton, Leicester, Liverpool and ending in Preston.