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Mayor of the Surrey Borough of Spelthorne Vivienne Leighton was a little uncertain what to expect when the local CCJ branch invited her to an evening of New Jewish Sacred Music.

But she was completely entranced by the music with commentary on Jewish thought and prayer from singer, instrumentalist and composer Alexander Massey.

The CCJ Staines Branch event was billed as a lecture recital, which perhaps didn’t convey fully the blend of spirituality, knowledge, and sheer entertainment that was in store.

“I didn’t know what to expect this evening but was really moved by Alexander’s performance not only because he is a very accomplished musician but also I found his explanations so clear and interesting,” said Vivienne.

Alexander, who is also a writer, teacher and prayer leader, sang in both Hebrew and English.

His composition of the story of Ruth struck a personal chord with Vivienne as another piece of music depicting Ruth’s message ‘your God is my God’ is particularly dear to her because it was written by a fellow member of the choir she sings in, who had died young.

With this being one of several events marking the 25th anniversary of the Staines CCJ branch, Alexander’s emphasis on the sacredness of the shared humanity between people of different faiths, was particularly apt.