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A Little Child Shall Lead . . .

“A voice is heard in Ramah: Rachel weeping for her children,

and she will not be comforted because they are lost . . .”

(Isaiah and the Gospel according to Matthew)

The children and young people reflect on the plight of children through time

and invite us to follow them on their path, ‘making new’ our world.

The joyful hymns and songs extend the invitation

to see again through the eyes of a child.

(Watermead Music 1996)


At St Theresa’s in Birstall the children had taken a very active role in the liturgy of the mass.  In 1982, on the first Sunday of the month, Fr Joe, the parish priest, invited the children of the parish to lead the prayers. This became a regular monthly celebration know as the “Children’s Mass” and by 1983 a thriving children’s music group had begun to provide an accompaniment to the singing. Over the years this grew into a small orchestra, comprising an assortment of instruments - recorders, flutes, clarinets, violins, cellos, guitars, keyboards, percussion, etc. - played by children from four years old upwards. When it began the eldest young person involved was fifteen, but we found that the youngsters didn’t want to leave after they left school and by 1997 the age range was 4 - 26 years with many of those that had begun as little ones were now returning to help teach the new generations.

When we started composing our Watermead hymns and songs we included writing for the children’s mass, including a children’s mass setting, named after Fr Joe and dedicated to St Joseph Cottolengo - famous for founding a hospice including severely handicapped and deformed children in Northern Italy, during the nineteenth century (read more about St Joseph Cottelengo).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


The Picture

(click on the above cassette to view the full picture)

CASSETTE STILL AVAILABLE

We no longer sell these cassette recordings through our online shop, but we do still have some left and they are available on request at a cost of £1 plus p&p

Please contact us direct

THE MUSIC

Listed below are all the tracks on the recording,

along with the introductory wording that

accompanied each title on the cassette insert.

All sheet music is available as are some of

the recorded tracks - see details on each.


Lyrics are by either Alison Jackson or Father John

And the music is composed by Alison Kennedy


A Little Child Shall Lead

Rachel cries through time for all children who suffer.

The children hear her cry and come to console her

And lead the world to a new innocence.

(Click to read wording)

St Theresa’s Theme

The Saint was the patron of the parish.

Her childlike simplicity a model for all children.

Children of God

The children begin their journey through the world,

With love as the key to open all doors.

Mass of St Joseph Cottolengo

The founder of a hospice for the worlds unwanted.

The mass sings that we are all loved children of God.

Water and Wine

The children offer their love and hearts to God,

mingling and entwining their lives with God.

The Lord’s Way

A celebration of journeys in the Scriptures,

of Elijah and the Road to Emmaus

and our Gospel following Jesus.

The breaking of bread and the gentle breeze

are signs of God’s love.

Here is My Body

Jesus gives himself in the Eucharist

and a promise of peace in his Spirit.

(Also recorded on the “Mary Our Mother” cassette)

Thank You, Lord

The children offer thanks for all they’ve been given,

With new understanding that Christ is their friend.

(Track available on “Our Songs Gave Praise”)

Christ is a Friend

And the journey of life is full of friends

who will listen, follow and love.

(Track available on “Our Songs Gave Praise”)

Come Follow Me

The children are the new apostles and disciples,

to bring God’s message of love to all nations yet -

“The path they must take is rugged and steep”

(Track available on “Our Songs Gave Praise”)

 A Little Child Shall Lead

An instrumental version of the title track

- the original composition,

inspired by tragic massacre in Dunblane, Scotland.

Mass of the Holy Innocents

The child sings alone her song of truth

and praise of God.

Mass of St Theresa

The child is carried by the children of St Theresa’s

in a vibrant, joyful dance in which they scatter

the rose petals of St Theresa’s love.

The Lost Sheep

The parable is retold in an unusual way,

But the message of Matthew (18:14)remains:

“It is never the will of your Father in heaven that

One of these little ones should be lost”

(Also on “Don Sings the Parables” with Don Maclean)

The Mass of St Anthony

“Dear St Anthony, there’s a good man;

find mother’s glasses as quick as you can”

The saint guides the children to find their way to God.

Let all Creation

We are all stewards of Creation

And sing of God’s love in all creation.

We are One

The family is now complete.

Christmas Welcome

Hearts and home are open to welcome Jesus,

and the children await his coming.

Glory to God

Children sing the song of the angels at Jesus birth,

And invite all peoples to share his peace.

Children of God

An instrumental version of this hymn.

Children continue in every age to bring God’s love.

The Children’s Recording begins . . .









The children’s band was run by Alison and Barbara and, then, in 1994 “another” Alison joined the team of helpers along with her 8-year-old daughter, Felicity. (Alison had been writing hymn words that had been set to music by either Alison or Matthew and sung on our previous recordings (see “Mary Our Mother”).

The Alison and Alison partnership had produced a collection of hymns for children to sing and play at the Children’s Mass, complementing the St Joseph’s mass setting. We decided to make a recording of these hymns and songs and after much rehearsal we spent three evenings during June, 1996, at the recording studio.

All the children of the parish had been invited to prepare for the recording, including the regular members of the children’s band, and a total of 27 children made it to the final recording days (from 23 June 1996), along with their shepherd (Fr John), shepherdesess (Doreen, Estelle, Mary, Helen and Marian) and a lost sheep (Don, in picture, the first “Don” to lead this song).


The Children involved in the recording were:

Laura-Jane Adams, Jenny Allnutt, Hannah Astill,

Thomas Astill, Katherine Cant, Rosanna Cant,

Ella Cooper, Michael Cooper, Francesca Gibson,

Sarah-Jane Glove, Nicola Harvey, Felicity Jackson,

Katherine Kennedy, Debbie Lee, Diana Lee,

Josephine Leigh, Alison Lloyd, Michael Lloyd,

Ann Lowe, Kate Lowe, Mikaela Lyons, Joseph Milligan,

Luka Moscetano, Christine O’Byrne, Elizabeth Slingsby,

Paul Slingsby, Kelly Ward.


Music/Instrumentation : Alison Kennedy


Producer : Mike Miller  Engineer : Mark Anderson

White House Sound Recording Studio, Syston, Leicestershire


Workshop Concert & Recording launch

Out of the enthusiasm of the children’s music group had grown the Children’s Summer Workshops - a week of music, sports, drama and craft activities for children during the summer holidays.  The activities would focus on a particular theme that connected with a charity chosen by the children themselves.


When we had begun in 1992, it was with a one-day workshop introducing various aspects of music to children from as young as four years old and culminating in a concert to raise funds for the street children who lived in the sewers of Bogota in Colombia - a charity brought to the attention of our tenor recorder player, Mark, by a street children’s charity Jubilee Action.


By 1996 this now annual event organised a variety of workshops for every day of the workshop week and culminated in fundraising concerts that had introduced us to a variety of charities chosen by our children.


We decided to launch our children’s recording at the 1996 workshops, where the music and singing, dance and drama, crafts and activities workshops focused on preparing the music, drama, and props for our Workshop concert on Saturday 17 August, 1996.  This was a visual presentation of the songs from the recording which raised £80 in admission tickets for Jubilee Action’s work with street children.



Click on picture to view larger image


Children Summer workshop photo.jpg Children singing at concert with Susan.jpg Children with masks.jpg Children miming at concert.jpg Children singing with Alison.jpg