Full House for singer Stuart Townend

3rd April 2017 

Tony Mallion reports

Stuart Townend 31032017-01Christian singer and songwriter Stuart Townend attracted a full house to St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston on Friday evening. Around 350 people were accommodated for the concert which was part of the composer’s UK tour. The event sold out by the end of January and the organisers are saying this will encourage them to consider staging more of this type of event


Stuart Townend is well known as the writer of such familiar worship songs as In Christ Alone, How Deep the Father’s Love and The Power of the Cross which are regularly sung in churches in both Britain and abroad. He included these in his programme as well as new pieces, one of which he had only completed a fortnight ago. He also taught the audience a song written with his daughter, Emma, which was a re-working of the old hymn Lead Kindly Light. Three screens were used to project the words, part of recent reorganisation of the church for modern use


Stuart Townend 31032017-02Accompanied by Matt Weeks whose instruments included guitar, banjo, and flugelhorn and his own son Joseph on drums and percussion, Stuart Townend played guitar, keyboard and harmonica. He was also able to explain the thinking behind some of the songs. Before the concert he told the organisers what a good venue the church building was. He was introduced and thanked by the Vicar of Gorleston the Rev Brian Hall


The concert was organised by a group of people at the church led by Janet Bowden who said “We were delighted when Stuart chose St Andrew’s as one of his tour venues back in the autumn.  Staging the concert has taken six months of planning and involved a large team of enthusiastic church members.  We were amazed at how quickly tickets sold once we had begun to publicise the event, but such is Stuart's popularity!  I believe we were the first venue to sell-out completely.  It was great to fill our church with people from different denominations and from all over the area and beyond.  We have a blueprint now and look forward to staging similar events in the future”


Her husband, Church Treasurer Jem Bowden added “We are thrilled at how good a concert venue and community facility St Andrew's has become. We couldn't have staged such an event without the changes put in place over a number of years, for example the replacement of pews with chairs and the introduction of three-way screen projection”


·         St Andrew’s will host the annual Gorleston churches Good Friday service at 11 am, preceded by a march of witness through Gorleston starting at St Mary Magdalene Church at 10am. On the same day the church choir will also be singing Stainer’s Crucifixion at 6.30pm


1. Stuart Townend, his son Joseph, and Matt Weeks (picture supplied by Stephen Gostick)

2. Matt Weeks with Stuart Townend (picture supplied by Stephen Gostick)

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Tony Ward (Guest) 10/04/2017 15:12
How wonderful to see the Church being used ifor this sort of event....fulfilling a vision to see it hosting many different activities which will serve and bless the community.