The faith and devotion of British Latter-day Saints has shone through once again. Almost 400 members auditioned for Core Cast roles and Choir membership in the Pageant, with people travelling from across the UK and Ireland to participate.
said that as we serve and meet with one another that we will meet Angels.
He said “we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side
of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some
of them reside in our own neighbourhoods. Indeed heaven never seems closer than
when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people
so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to
mind.” That was is exactly the experience felt by the Presidency and
artistic and music teams as they met the saints at the auditions.
Martha Solomon, the Stage Manager said “It has been my great privilege to meet so many incredible individuals and families and to hear, see and feel of their faith in their Saviour Jesus Christ. It has lifted my soul and elevated me to a higher plane. The places I came to meet these saints will continue to be holy places for me and have marked a special place in my heart as a result. What joy I find knowing that these auditions are not the end, that the work will continue moving forward at great speed and that I'm sure we will continue to enjoy these associations again.”
The culmination of the auditioning process was the Call Back day, in St Helens, Lancashire, on 4 March 2017.
Over 70 potential Core cast members came together to read, dance and share their feelings as they performed. There was a tangible feeling of unity and love throughout the entire process, as members read the words of Christian reformers, the journals of early LDS converts and first missionaries to these lands. One of those at the call backs was Derek Black, a direct descendant of William Black, one of the first LDS missionaries sent to Ireland in 1839 who rejoiced in the wonderful spirit of the occasion.
The Pageant Artistic director Alex Mackenzie Johns described her feelings, "It was a remarkable experience to share the occasion with so many saints from across the British Isles. The talents and desires of the members is remarkable. It was a joyous day, with much love, laughter and faith shared between us all. A uniting between us today and those saints we portrayed."
The common thread that ran through all those who have been involved in or saw the Pageant in 2013, is their desire to be a part of it once again, and no matter how they are involved, they are excited to be part of something wonderful. Tears of joy, sadness, and awe have been shed as members have shared their experiences and motivations for getting involved.
One of those members who attended the call back day was Jeannie Wills, who was recently called as the Lead Costumer. She took lots of measurements of those potential cast members young and old, in readiness to prepare the costumes. Jeannie had previously served in the costuming team in 2013. When that Pageant was over she felt prompted to collect materials and store them in a spare room, in case there was a future Pageant. ‘The connection and spiritual promptings I felt with my brothers and sisters while working in the sewing room in 2013 was a preparation for the rest of my life and the experiences I have had since. To feel the love, learn to know myself as He does, live closer, to my Heavenly Father, to really love my life and my family as our Saviour taught and to do it with no fear. I strive to approach this calling in this way. During this special project, I call it 'Sewing with Love'.
Pageant President, Peter Trebilcock was overjoyed with the number and quality of applicants. “The Artistic team told me that they could have cast the Pageant 3 times over, there was so much wonderful talent. Above all it was the light of the gospel we all could see burning brightly in the eyes of those devoted ‘angels’. With such faith, humility and commitment the Church is greatly blessed. We invited all those who attended the auditions, whether they are ultimately called into the core cast or not, to find a way of helping in the work of the Pageant- which principle objectives are to invite others to come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and his restored Gospel and to strengthen testimonies. ”
In the next few days we expect we will reach the 600th application to serve in the Pageant. Whilst the applications for core cast and family cast are now closed, there are still many different ways to participate, including choir, work crew, security, costuming, and more. Click get involved now or ask your Stake Pageant Representative on other opportunities locally!