On Friday the 22nd of May, members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Huddersfield and their friends enjoyed a unique experience watching the blockbuster film ‘Meet the Mormons’ at the Rex Cinema in Elland near Halifax, Yorkshire. Joining them as special guests were Rt Hon Craig Whittaker, MP for Calderdale Valley, who was accompanied by his mother. Representatives from the Royal British Legion, the Pakistani Alliance Community and the Yorkshire branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were amongst the audience of nearly 200, which also included councillor and Mrs James, Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Calderdale, councillor and Mrs Dodds, Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees.
The Rex is a structurally unaltered, purpose-built cinema dating from 1912. It is a true independent cinema and operates without subsidy from the National Lottery, local council or anybody else. In May 1990, a Conn 651 theatre organ, with resonator pipes and two Leslie tone cabinets, was installed, and organ recitals have been a regular feature ever since.
On ‘Meet the Mormons’ night the organist, Ben Hinchcliffe (a nonmember and local teacher’s assistant) kindly volunteered to play this unique instrument before the film began. The prelude music included a rousing version of ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’, ‘Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah’, ‘The Spirit of God’ and ‘Called to Serve’. So, with a wonderful atmosphere set, everyone was ready to sit back and enjoy the specially produced and uplifting film.
Sofia, one of the Pakistani youth leaders, remarked, “This film makes us realise that we are not so different from one another. We worship God and teach the same principles of love and service to one another.”
Afterwards, a plea was made on behalf of Bishnu (who featured in the film) and his fellow Nepalise countrymen who suffered so much in the recent earthquakes, whereupon £207 was raised for them.
The leaders of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (whose motto is “Love for all and hatred for none”) have since been in contact expressing their enjoyment of the film and a desire for further meetings so that “we can collaborate and work on projects together as we share so many similarities”.