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Christ-filled conversations at Tamworth Country Music Festival


The Tamworth Corps Country Kitchen crew with Corps Officers Majors Tony (far right) and Yan de Tommaso (third from left).
BY LAUREN MARTIN

 

The Tamworth Country Music Festival has attracted hundreds of people to Tamworth Corps in western NSW for camping, concerts and a gospel Sunday.

 

Corps Officers Majors Tony and Yan de Tommaso and their faithful congregation hardly stopped to catch their breath after Christmas, before the festival, which runs from 19-28 January, was upon them. 


Tamworth soldiers Dave Parker (left) and Kevin Hunt help out during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

For 15 years, The Salvation Army has opened its grounds to campers, run a ‘Country Kitchen’ café, and hosted performances by the Australian Bush Balladeers Association.

 

With two shows per day, it’s one of the busiest times of the year for the small country corps, but one that raises much-needed funds and allows the congregation to have meaningful conversations with visitors to the site.

 

“During the week, I did get to have a lot of good conversations with people, and our volunteers do as well,” said Tony. “They get to interact with the folk that are sitting and eating or having a cuppa between shows.”


Tamworth Corps Officer Major Tony de Tommaso engages in conversation with a visitor during the festival.

He said many people were interested in the history of the Salvos in the local area (did you know William Booth visited Tamworth in the late 1880s?) and engaged in conversation about the Salvos’ mission.


The Salvation Army is known in Tamworth as a friendly, safe space that people can come to and one of the few venues that doesn’t serve alcohol. During the week, it was featured on a Channel 7 news report and ABC radio. “It’s a great opportunity to be part of the community of Tamworth,” said Tony.

 

On the Sunday, at the close of the festival, Tamworth Corps hosted Gavin Chatelier, who presented a gospel music show for the corps and visitors.

 

“It’s so special that we can meet in fellowship in this place of peace,” Tony said to those gathered. “We give thanks for music ... just allow God’s music to fill you today.”


Tamworth Corps Officer Major Yan de Tommaso, with the corps’ Country Kitchen coordinator Carrol Ford.

 


 

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