Friday, 13 May 2011

My Manchester Experience

It was a bright Sunday morning in August 2010 (yes I know, Manchester?), the 10am mass at St Edwards had just finished and I decided to stay back to go through the messages on the bulletin before I went home. I came across an advert, requesting volunteers to assist with the running of an internet radio during the papal visit. The idea of helping to put out the catholic message during the papal visit in anyway appealed to me and I decided to call the contact phone contained in the advert to explore the possibility of volunteering the next day.
After about a 15 minutes conversation (I think) with Mr Gerry Coates and later with Jill
(Those of you who have been involved with the station would have come across her in one way or the other) I made a commitment to do assist the station in the best way I could.
It was agreed that I would conduct some interviews with the religious within the Diocese of Salford (which includes the Manchester area) including its Bishop, while also assisting to edit and in deed help in presenting some programmes.
Equipping my self with audio editing software (audacity), file sharing tool ( and a dictaphone, I was fully prepared to meet my commitment using my laptop and some spare time.
I edited quite a number of programmes into broadcast-able format and conducted three interviews; with Bishop Terrance Brian (Bishop of Salford), Fr. Tom Connolly Parish Priest (St Kentigen) and Fr. Simon Stamp, (the Bishop’s Private Secretary).  All of which I found very interesting and fascinating.
I was also able to record a 10 am Sunday mass from St Edwards, Manchester.
I did experience some challenges and disappointment during my experience. First was a solemn service organised the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church, Oxford Road Manchester, in honour of Blessed John Henry Newman just before the papal visit, which was quite interesting. I tried to record it for the station but faced two problems; the recording turned out to be inaudible (due to my placing of the dictaphone in a poor spot). The second problem was that because professionals performed the hymns during the service, I needed to obtain permission from them in order for it to be broadcast. The permission never came in time (it did not matter any way as my recording of the service turned out to be poor and inaudible). My second disappointment was the fascinating interview I conducted with Fr. Pat Deegan, who was the spiritual director of the Legion of Mary Praesidium I was a member of, at the time. There was severe interference from a fish tank in the room where the interview took place that made the recording inaudible.
In all, it was quite a fulfilling experience; I learnt a lot and enjoyed every bit of it.Don’t forget the roadshow starts tomorrow in Birmingham; you can get more details here.

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