25th January 2019
Croydon Seventh-day Adventist church are no novices when it comes to engaging with the media. With gospel choirs that tour the country performing in prestigious venues and regular members appearing on Songs of Praise, the invitation to be the host church for the weekly BBC Radio 4 Sunday service was just another welcoming opportunity.
On this occasion the rehearsal and the recording by the BBC took place on Sabbath 19 January. With just a few hours to get all the songs and scheduling right for the broadcast to be held the next day, there was little room for error.
The theme of the service was ‘A Light Shines in the Darkness’ and the guest speaker was Amanda Mukwashi, the first Seventh-day Adventist to hold the position of CEO of Christian Aid. In harmony with the theme popular hymns and songs sung were, ‘The Lord is My Light’, ‘Here I am to Worship’, ‘When Peace like a River’, ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and ‘I’m Marching in the Light of God’.
With an amalgamation of the Croydon Gospel and Youth Choirs led by conductor Ken Burton the music as usual became a highlight providing an uplift to the service. Coordinator for the programme was David Billett who steered the proceedings through from start to finish.
With very few retakes the service which also incorporated scripture lessons and prayer was well received by BBC producers on the day.
Croydon minister, Pastor Alex Mareniuc, who led out in one of the readings said afterwards, “it was a privilege for Croydon church to be a part of this special service that would be broadcast to perhaps over a million people, and if only 1% were to be inspired to know more about us as a Church I would be more than happy.”