Ministry: Raising money for charity through entertainment

The Rottingdean Panto is a yearly event organized in the small seaside village of Rottingdean, east of Brighton, UK. For the twelfth year running ✠Jerome was director of music, rehearsing the cast and accompanying the performances on keyboard with a small band of live musicians!

Pantomime has been a popular form of entertainment in Britain since the 18th century. It was originally performed in the music halls of London and was often used as a form of political satire. By the 19th century, pantomimes had become an important part of Christmas festivities and were performed all over the country. Since then, they have evolved to include more modern elements such as special effects and celebrity guests.

Pantomime is an important part of British culture and continues to be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s a great way to bring people together and enjoy some light-hearted entertainment during the festive season.

The panto this year was a retelling of the classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, with a local twist. The story featured Jack, a young farmer from “Vegtaville”, who manages to climb up the beanstalk and into the magical “Cloudland”. There he meets the giant, who he must outwit in order to save his family from poverty and win the hand of the Princess Jill. With the help of some magical beans, Jack manages to defeat the giant, rescue Daisy the cow thus reclaiming his family’s fortune and marry the princess! The panto was performed by local actors and actresses, with live music provided by local musicians.

The Rottingdean Panto is an important event for the village as it brings together locals from all walks of life and provides entertainment for everyone. It is also an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate their community spirit in a unique way. The audience was invited to sing along to beloved songs and join in the fun. The production included traditional elements such as audience participation, slapstick comedy and song and dance numbers. During the performances, there were also chances to win prizes donated by the cast from a charity raffle, this year benefiting children suffering with cancer, “Children with Cancer UK” and “Chomp” supporting families in challenging circumstances.

Social Action

This is an example of “social action” that ✠Jerome has been advocating for the Old Roman apostolate. Using gifts, skills, talents and abilities in ways that benefit the community and bear positive witness to our Faith. Throughout the three months of the pantomime production from rehearsals through to performance, ✠Jerome always presented in clerical dress, mainly cassock, and was open about his ministry and vocation with cast and audience alike. This provoked conversations from genuine enquirers’ and even pastoral counsel. There is a great need for clergy to be visible in their communities, for there are many souls searching for answers in our chaotic and troublesome world. ✠Jerome’s twelve year involvement in the Rottingdean Panto has served locally to build favourable recognition and acceptance – the same could be repeated elsewhere Old Roman’s serve.

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