South West of England
Parish Church of St. Barry the Lesser
So moving... as the first notes rise up to fill its vaults, the little village chapel seems to come back to life. For months nobody has admired the brightly coloured stained glass windows, no one has paused in front of the centuries-old memorials, testimonies of past lives. Now this cherished place of worship is ablaze with the fervour of thirty eager voices, in this first socially-distanced choir practice.
Silence falls over the astonished choir, while sixty embarassed eyes are pointed to the red face of a livid choirmaster.
-That was disgraceful! This must be the lowest point in the history of this church! What's going on here? Tenors: you are supposed to sing in unison! Altos: can we please agree on a key? Boys: would you mind putting down your mobiles during choir practice? Graham: I said page 114, what in goodness' name were you singing?
Nobody dares to argue. It was indeed a terrible performance, and the choirmaster is not known for his patience.
-I've had enough for tonight. I'll see you on Friday, and I hope by then you will have turned into a real choir - he shouts as he gathers his things and storms out of the church in front of thirty frightened choristers.
It takes a few minutes before someone breaks the silence.
-You upset the choirmaster. You should all be ashamed. - accuses Mrs. Oldman, without taking her eyes off the scarf she has been knitting throughout the rehearsal.
-I'll admit that we're all a bit rusty. It's been months since the last time we practised. - replies her husband Graham.
-I think we should continue the practice - suggests one of the boys, picking up a printed sheet from the choirmaster's music stand - look, the choirmaster has left the list of hymns he wanted to rehearse.
As he reads the list aloud, the choristers look at each other, confused:
Approximately 7.8 billion
Join us, Herr Kant
I want thee to have the U.S. flag
The lump sum I received for Great Uncle's death was a Godsend
Way before Gallagher
Ageing, rough and annoyed
-Poor dear Mr. Poppins - says Mrs. Oldman - He's never been the full shilling, bless him. The lockdown must have driven him completely mad