National broadcast of a ‘Baptist service’ from a Manchester minister’s study
On 9 August the Sunday morning BBC Local Radio service featured a service led by the Revd Wayne Clarke, pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Gorton, Manchester, with his wife Val
Every week during the pandemic lockdown BBC Local Radio stations have been broadcasting a half-hour service of Christian worship. A single programme each week is played out at 8am on all 39 radio stations that cover England and the Channel Islands with an estimated audience of half a million listeners. For many this has been a lifeline to sustain their faith. For others it has been an introduction to the Christian message and a variety of Christian worship music. The production team have worked at representing many different Christian traditions and personalities. Previous broadcasts have featured the Archbishop of York, Graham Kendrick, Tim Hughes and leaders from a variety of Christian church groupings.
On Sunday, 9 August 2020, the Sunday morning BBC Local Radio service featured a ‘Baptist’ service led by the Revd Wayne Clarke, the pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Gorton, Manchester, with his wife Val. Wayne and Val led a service of songs, prayers, and readings and a short talk based on the parable of the sower and the message of the Kingdom of God being ‘broadcast’ into the world.
The programme is meant to represent Baptist worship, but because of lockdown restrictions, the radio service only included recorded music and the voices of Wayne and Val. Wayne said this was the most difficult part of the process: ‘It’s tough to show the vibrancy of the worship in our church through two voices and a few recordings. But we like to think we captured the spirit of what we’re about as a community of God’s people.'
The other restriction of lockdown is that all the spoken parts of the service had to be recorded with none of the normal equipment of a BBC studio, but on a single microphone and a PC in Wayne’s study at home. Wayne brought to the recording the experience of working in BBC radio for more than a decade, but making a radio programme at home still had the challenges that many broadcasters are finding when working from home. Wayne said he and Val were happy enough with the finished programme. ‘We hope that it was an encouragement to many and brought the good news of our Lord Jesus to those who most need to hear it.’
Sunday Service was broadcast at 8am on Sunday 9 August on every one of the 39 BBC Local Radio stations in England the Channel Islands. It was subsequently available for four weeks afterwards on BBC Sounds and the BBC website. Find upcoming and recent episodes here.