Fr Alvan Ibeh from St Mary’s Yarmouth has always loved music but thought it would be impossible for him ever to produce an album of his own. He describes how he proved himself wrong.
I am from Nigeria and am a member of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM). I am working in the diocese as assistant priest at St Mary’s Great Yarmouth and St Peter’s Gorleston, alongside my brother priests Fr Anthony SMMM (Priest in Charge) and Fr Alex (Assistant priest, resident at St Peter’s Gorleston). I was ordained a priest nine years ago in Nigeria and came to England in 2015.
Back in the days when I was a seminarian, I always had a passion for music, even though I didn’t see myself as very good at it. But I just did what I enjoyed. I joined the school band and choir. I admired musicians a lot but thought I could never produce anything of my own. I thought I just had to let that passion die because it was impossible.
In 2011 I published my first book entitled ‘It shall come to pass’, which I revised in 2013, a year after my ordination. It was then that the idea came of putting the message in the form of music. It was all about giving hope to the hopeless, and that was how I started the Voice of Hope Family.
I followed this idea with determination, and with inspiration from the Holy Spirit, I started getting songs in my dreams and on other occasions. I kept recording them as they came and when I got enough, I went to a studio with a friend. That was how in 2014 I released my first album entitled ‘It shall come to pass’.
I saw that nothing is impossible with determination and trust in God. In 2015, shortly before I came to England, I released my second album entitled ‘Chukwuemeka’ meaning ‘God has done a lot’, which is my native name. And in July this year, I came out with three new albums to the glory of God.
I wanted to share my little story about how I started my music ministry because I believe it will inspire some of our young people in the diocese to pursue their passion with determination, believing that they can always achieve what they conceive with the strength which comes from God.
So don’t be shy or afraid to make use of what God has given to you. You have the potential. Trust in God and you will get to where you want to be. Use it or you lose it. I hope my story will enkindle that passion in you once again. God bless.
Credit: Diocesan website for East Anglia