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We will rock the Gospel

Hundreds of schoolchildren have been rocked by the Gospel message through the music of Queen, following a partnership between a church in west Cumbria and America.

 

Fourteen musicians from the Christian Fellowship Church in Evansville, Indiana, have spent a week with the congregation of St Andrew’s Mirehouse and during that time they performed special concerts, assemblies and RE lessons to more than 1,800 children in three schools in the Whitehaven area.

The concerts included performances of some Queen songs which were used to help deliver the Gospel message.

The week long visit was the idea of Rev’d Chris Casey, Priest in Charge at St Andrew’s.

Chris said: “I chose the music of Queen because the band still has universal appeal, regardless of age and many of the themes in their song catalogue raise issues that can help us to explore what the Christian faith might say to life today.

“Music is such a great medium to help communicate the Gospel. So many songs in our lives are sad songs or songs of lamentation, but we wanted to help put a new song into people’s hearts and give them the chance to explore what Christ may mean in their lives”.

“It’s been a tremendous success. The kids truly loved it. There were plenty of enthusiastic messages on Facebook and Twitter that showed the outreach has made an impact.”

Chris and the musicians visited Valley Primary, St Benedict’s Catholic High School and Whitehaven School.

As well as performing songs such as We Will Rock You, the sessions also explored hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Somebody to Love asking what the Christian faith has to say to issues they raise. The team also shared their own faith stories in question and answer sessions with the children.

Chris says many of Queen’s songs explore themes such as being lost, sin and searching for redemption – all important Gospel messages.

The American musicians had all self-funded the trip to west Cumbria.

One of the party still has family in the Whitehaven area and regularly flies over so had invited others from Evansville to make the trip too.

As well as performing at the school assemblies, the group staged two sold-out performances of The Gospel According to Queen at St Andrew’s Church.

Chris and members from Evansville also helped lead coffee mornings, a men’s breakfast, a BBQ and a Messy Church during the week long mission event.

Chris added: “The people who travelled over from America were wonderful people with a servant ethos that reflects very well on them and on their aspiration to serve the gospel. They were a great example of Christian service”.

“They had a wonderful time and some even joked with me if I could lose their passports so they would not be able to travel home.”

It’s hoped that a similar trip will be repeated in the coming years as the churches continue to grow ties.

 

For further information please contact Rev’d Chris Casey on 01946 693565 or Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434 or at carlisledco@gmail.com.

 

 

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