Keep The Faith magazine

Page 1








meal for the whole day’

Esther grows pigeon peas on her farm. With these peas, she can bake delicious bread, support her daughter’s dreams, and send her grandsons to nursery.

Christian Aid Week, you can help more farmers like Esther build happier futures for their families.
resources to plan your Christian Aid Week service at Christian Aid is a key member of ACT Alliance. Eng and Wales charity no. 1105851 Scot charity no. SC039150 Company no. 5171525. The Christian Aid name and logo are trademarks of Christian Aid. © Christian Aid January 2023
Christian Aid/Adam Haggerty J347534
Week 14-20 May
invite my children. I share the food with everyone. It is food that
Christian Aid
makes a
Esther Saizi with her daughter Ziwone and grandson Emmanuel.


Marcia Dixon MBE


Becky Wybrow


Jackie Raymond


Valerie San Pedro

T: 0203 868 0664


Karen Seronay

Mairem Honrada-Magarro



71 -73 Sheldon Street London


T: 0845 193 4431

Facebook keepthefaithmag Twitter @keepthefaithmag Instagram keepthefaithmag


Marcia Dixon MBE, Juliet Fletcher, Akosua DF, Roy Francis, Richard Reddie, Dionne Gravesande, Paul Morrison, Gary Clayton, Karen Allen, Olivia Williams, Dr T Ayodele Ajayi, Pastor Yvonne Brooks, Verona White, Kirly-Sue, Esther Kuku, our advertisers and supporters

The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Publisher.

Editor’s NOTE


Dear Readers,

I’m excited about this latest edition of KeepTheFaith

We have articles about men, faith, legacy, success and leadership — all of which are aimed at informing, inspiring and empowering you to be better, do better and keep serving the Lord.

On June 22nd, Black communities across Britain will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush. An article by Roy Francis looks at the impact and legacy of the Windrush Generation and poses questions for the Church and community to consider. Dionne Gravesande touches on the contribution of Windrush Women, and Richard Reddie explores the similarities between the experiences of Caribbeans in the 50s and 60s, and those of modern-day refugees.

June is the month society celebrates Father’s Day and serves as a good time to focus on men. There’s a KeepTheFaith spotlight on Christian men making waves in the Church and beyond. Karen Allen writes on why men need women and how women can effectively support men; Olivia Williams reveals how men can improve their health and fitness; and Dr T Ayodele Ajayi provides insights on how men can achieve better mental health.

There are interviews with Jamaican YouTuber, Chef Ricardo; he talks about his new book which chronicles his journey from poverty to success, cooking all the way; and with gospel singer and former contestant on The Voice, Jason Nicholson-Porter who shares his hopes for his ministry.

Also check out Juliet Fletcher’s article about issues raised by the new US reality show, Grown&Gospel; Esther Kuku’s insights on leadership; Paul Morrison’s tips for churches that host hybrid services; and an array of other interesting articles.

I would entreat you, if you enjoy KeepTheFaith, support us in sharing the good news of what God is doing in people’s lives and communities by either ordering a box of magazines to distribute to your church or local community, or by taking out a yearly subscription for just £25. Visit to place your order.

And do enjoy the magazine!

Marcia Dixon

To discuss how Keep The Faith could work with you, request a media pack or book an advert, please call 0203 868 0664 or email


35 Churches can prevent DVA through their

04 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag 16 09 22 CONTENTS ISSUE 125 38 10 24 06 New Testament Assembly appoints new national leader 06 Writer lands deal with major book company 06 Charity Commission inquiry uncovers misuse of funds at London church 07 Founder of Operation Mobilisation passes 07 Documentary about the Church and slavery gets nomination nod 07 Spreading the Gospel through fashion 08 We've got political! Black churches to publish Manifesto 09 LCGC celebrate 40th anniversary in great musical style 10 Young emerging leaders making a difference By Akosua DF 11 Should Christians flaunt their faults on national TV? By Juliet Fletcher 12 The Windrush Generation: Its impact and legacy
Roy Francis 14 Finding refuge in Windrush
Richard Reddie 15 Windrush women - faith, forgiveness and resilience
Dionne Gravesande 16 Christian men of influence
Marcia Dixon MBE 22 Chef Ricardo Campbell: The man born to cook!
Jason Nicholson-Porter: The man with the golden voice 26 Hybrid church is here to stay
Paul Morrison 27 Seeing and disbelieving
Gary Clayton 28 Food for Thought
30 Leadership and a growth mindset
Esther Kuku
Dixon MBE
are the missing link
31 Women
By Karen Allen
Why men's health and fitness matter By Olivia Williams
34 Let's talk about mental health, men By Dr T Ayodele Ajayi
36 Matters of the heart By Pastor Yvonne Brooks
37 A healthy scalp = healthy hair By Verona White
38 Cook with Kirly-Sue By Kirly-Sue

Baptist Insurance has been protecting Baptist Churches since 1905. What sets us apart is that we reinvest all available profits from Baptist Insurance back into the Baptist community. Our home insurance policy can be adapted to suit the needs of church officials in their work on behalf of the church, or the general needs of your congregation and community.

As with all home insurance policies, terms and conditions apply. Full details are available on our website

So if you share our beliefs, and you are looking for home insurance, why not ask us for a quote today?

What’s in it for you? Flexible working patterns to fit around you and your lifestyle Full NHS benefits (including the NHS Pension Scheme) Health and well-being support for our colleagues Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset offer you a vibrant city culture with tranquil countryside nearby. ✓ Join the NHS and together, we can make a real difference in a community you’ll love: 0300 124 5444 Scan the QR code to apply ✓ ✓ ✓ Physios and Occupational Therapists – relocate to Bristol with up to £8,000* *Terms and conditions apply. Experts in church and home insurance
family Contains promotional material The Baptist Insurance Company PLC (BIC) Reg. No. 83597. Registered in England at Benefact House, 2000 Pioneer Avenue, Gloucester Business Park, Brockworth, Gloucester, GL3 4AW, United Kingdom. BIC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 202032. PD4763 04/23 Call us on 0345 070 2223 quoting BPA23 Lines are open 8am-6pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays)
Insure your home and support


The New Testament Assembly (NTA), a leading Black Pentecostal denomination in the UK and founded by members of the Windrush Generation, has announced Rev Sean Samuel as its new incoming National Presiding Bishop.

He will succeed the current leader, Bishop Delroy A Powell, who has come to the end of a two-term tenure.


Christian Ola Awonubi has recently signed a book deal with HarperCollins UK division, One More Chapter, for

world rights to A Nurse’s Tale and one additional title.

Rev Samuel, 61, currently Senior Pastor at the NTA New Generation Church (NGC) in Nottingham, will bring a wealth of experience to his new role, which includes church planting, leadership and management skills. He aims to build on the foundation of his predecessors, such as the late Bishops Melvin Powell and Donald Bernard, who co-founded the NTA in 1961.

In his acceptance speech, Rev Samuel, who is married to Maxine and is father to five adult children, paid homage to Christians who had mentored and guided him in ministry over the years. He said: “My prayer is for ancient and new wells to spring up in our midst, renewing our desire for personal and corporate worship and fellowship, and that the glory of God would flow out from our churches and congregations into our communities.”

Outgoing Bishop Delroy Powell commented: “The mantle of leadership has fallen on the shoulders of a good man a man of great integrity and sincere humility. I have every confidence that he will succeed in preserving the great legacy entrusted to us by our forebears and, crucially, in preparing the next generation to navigate the uncharted waters of the times ahead.”

The Consecration of Bishop-Elect Rev Sean Samuel will take place on Saturday 26 August 2023 during the NTA National Convention.


A Nurse’s Tale tells the story of real-life Nigerian Princess Adenrele Ademola, who trained as a midwife and volunteered at Guy’s Hospital, London, during the Blitz. The historical novel will cover Princess Adenrele’s time at the hospital during the Second World War, along with a contemporary storyline featuring Yemi, a young Nigerian woman, who discovers the Princess’ diaries. The book will be published in e-book, audio and print formats this summer. Awonubi said: “Getting a two-book deal from One More Chapter was a childhood dream come true! Working with my editor Charlotte; her enthusiasm for the story; and her love for the characters and their stories was inspiring and supportive. The opportunity to tell this story from the standpoint of my Yoruba heritage made it all the more special.”

Awonubi was born in London to Nigerian parents. In 2008, her short story, ‘The Pink House’, won first prize in the national Words

of Colour Competition. This was followed by another story, ‘The Go-Slow Journey’, winning first prize in the Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2009. Her short stories have featured on blogs, journals and anthologies such as African Writing Online and Woman Alive Her two books, Love’s Persuasion and Love Me Unconditionally, were published by Ankara Press. She has self-published a collection of short stories, Naija Love Stories, as well as a romance entitled Lovers, Leavers and Keepers. Awonubi also contributed to Black Christian and Single: A Collection of Essays about Singleness in Britain’s Black Pentecostal Church

Charity Commission inquiry uncovers misuse of funds at London Church

The Charity Commission (CC), the governing body that regulates charities in England and Wales, recently published findings of its inquiry into Rhema Church London, a charity which had a church in Croydon.

The Commission found evidence that the church, founded in 1999, had spent approximately £95,000 on overseas trips led by former pastor, Martin Phelps, without any authorisation or clear charitable purpose.

The inquiry also uncovered that day-to-day living expenses, such as food, domestic purchases, medical bills, vets’ bills and gym memberships, were claimed and paid out by the charity in the absence of clear financial controls.

The Commission concluded that the charity’s trustees had failed to fulfil their duties to protect the charity and its assets, or demonstrate any effective oversight of senior staff leading to serious misconduct and mismanagement.

The Commission froze the charity’s bank accounts in November 2015 and appointed Interim Managers (IMs) to address issues uncovered by the inquiry. The charity’s former pastor was disqualified from being a trustee and/or holding any office or employment with senior management functions at any charity for 10 years.

Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations at the Commission, said: “From our investigation it was clear that trustees at Rhema Church London had failed to meet this obligation, leading to significant misuse of funds by a former senior employee.

The Interim Managers worked at length to settle the charity’s accounts, and I am pleased they were able to recover over £136,000 which could be put to good use at charities with similar purposes.”

Rhema Church London was removed from the register of charities on 7th June 2022.

06 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag



After The Flood, the documentary which explores the role the Church of England played in upholding slavery and which provides actions people can take to redress those wrongs, has been shortlisted in the Sandford St Martin Awards.

The documentary, the brainchild of Dr Robert Beckford who also serves as narrator, was commissioned by UK charity, Movement for Justice and Reconciliation. The launch was held in 2022 at Bloomsbury Baptist Church in central London – the church where civil rights activist, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, gave a speech when he visited the UK capital in 1961.

and the Lambeth Conference. It has also been screened at a number of charities, including Christian Aid as well as the I Will Tell International Film Festival.

Rev Alton Bell, Chair of MJR, told Keep The Faith: “MJR is super excited. All the trustees of the charity and producers of the film are thrilled to be nominated for this award.”

He continued: “After The Flood has really served to raise awareness of the CoE’s extensive involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and has given all who have seen it the tools to start the process of reconciliation.”

The worldwide Christian community is mourning the passing of George Verwer, founder of global missions organisation, Operation Mobilisation (OM).

George Verwer, 84, was born in 1938, got saved at a Billy Graham meeting aged 17 in 1955, and started doing missionary work in 1957 when he travelled to Mexico with two other students to distribute the Gospel and Christian literature.

With a passion to share the Gospel throughout the world, George started OM in 1961. It now has over 5,000 workers –representing more than 100 nationalities – serving in the OM family of ministries. OM has reached millions with the Gospel and has inspired people of all ages to do missions work.

George led the organisation for 45 years before stepping down in 2003, when he continued to speak at worldwide gatherings and focus on special projects.

He has been described as “the most outstanding North American missionary statesman of the last 60 years.”

“George changed the face of missions in his generation,” said Andrew Scott, president of OM USA. “When the mission agencies of the late fifties were looking for highly trained individuals with seminary degrees who would commit to going for a lifetime, George invited young people who simply loved Jesus to come for a summer. This was new. This was different. Thousands came.”

Matthew Skirton, CEO of OM in the UK, said: “George truly practised what he preached. His authenticity and passion for reaching the lost – but also his humility and transparency when sharing about his struggles – have profoundly impacted me in my life, and I know have touched, encouraged and challenged so many others as well.”

He is survived by his wife and their three children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Since the launch 30 screenings have taken place in churches and at Christian events in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Canterbury, at the Church of England Synod

Award winners will be announced in May 2023.


Spreading the Gospel through fashion

Want to spread the Gospel but you’re a little shy?

Consider buying an item from the Kingdom Come (KC) clothing range, where faith meets fashion.

Corey Ross initially launched KC in the noughties and relaunched it in 2021. His aim is to grow the Kingdom of God and spread the gospel message in a creative, innovative and fun way, utilising fashion.

Corey shared that he has had numerous conversations that have been inspired by one of his T-shirts which says ‘Jesus Said’ on the front and ‘He’ll Be Back’ on the back. He recalled: “Kingdom Come Clothing really does spark discussion. Some years ago, I was taking photos at a concert with pop star, Kelis. When she came off stage, she saw me wearing my Jesus Said T-shirt and said “I need that shirt.” I went to Arsenal Football club to get the letters printed on a T-shirt specially for her, and ddelivered it to her hotel. She wasn’t there but a month later I got a message from Kelis saying ‘Thank you for my shirt’.

He added: “Whenever I wear that T-shirt I get people coming up to me all the time asking: ‘What did Jesus say?’

Kingdom Come Clothing can really help believers evangelise through what they wear.”

The Kingdom Come Clothing range comprises casual wear and includes

T-shirts, hoodies, sweaters, hats and jackets.

Corey said: “People of all ages can wear Kingdom Come Clothing and get the message out there. Some Christians are afraid to speak about their faith, but wearing this clothing helps people get the gospel message out in a way people can relate to.”



Black churches to publish Manifesto

The NCLF, a Black Christian voice, is getting ready to release a manifesto for action. Find out why...

There was a time when leaders in the Black Church were extremely reluctant to mention the word ‘politics’ inside the church building. Politics was viewed as one of those unspeakable words. It was almost like uttering an expletive and was often spoken of in disparaging terms. There were those who would venture to admit they didn’t even understand what it meant! But here we are, on the verge of delivering the second edition of the Black Church Political Mobilisation and, to top it all, the subtitle says it’s a manifesto for action!

A manifesto is defined as ‘a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives or views of its issuer’ (Merriam Webster). The issuer, NCLF (the National Church Leaders Forum) is a Black Christian voice, supported by Black Church leaders and members, also by civic, cultural and enterprising organisations, which are unequivocal about utilising their godly intelligence and values of practical Christian theology. Their belief is that engaging instead of ignoring; transforming instead of conforming; and empowering instead of complaining is the best way we can effectively demonstrate what it means to be a people of faith, living, surviving and thriving in a broken and fallen world in which we engage in God’s mission to our neighbour.


The first-ever edition of the Manifesto was released in 2015 during the time of the General Election, which was won by the Conservatives led by David Cameron MP. Over 15,000 copies were printed and distributed to all members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as to community, cultural and business leaders, and key individuals. Hard copies and a free download were made accessible on the NCLF website (

Verbal feedback and written responses affirmed support. One Conservative MP exclaimed it demonstrated in a clear and precise way how the churches, through their members and associates, were bringing

change in multiple ways to hundreds and thousands of lives. Another MP expressed how it demonstrated that the Black Church, for many years, through projects (large and small), had delivered innovative initiatives all over the British Isles; for example, the Ascension Trust’s Street Pastors, influencing exemplary community practices internationally.

The often-used phrase describing the UK Black Church as ‘a sleeping giant’ is becoming less applicable, even though there is so much more to be done. In the relatively short eight years since the first edition, the intensity of social, economic and political challenges serves to reinforce the need for this forthcoming revised version, which once again positions NCLF as a distinctive voice in the nation.

villages to the benefit of all. Scripture says: ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might’ (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Each section is written by wellpositioned individuals, including Elaine Bowes, Marketing Communications for the Pentecostal Credit Union, as one of Britain’s top 10 credit unions delivering a focus on Economics, Enterprise and Investment; and Music, Media, Arts and Culture, written by Richard Reddie, author, cultural and religious commentator and Director of Justice and Inclusion for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

The impact of headlines - such as the Windrush Scandal (2017); Grenfell (2017); the Refugee Small Boats Crisis (2018); the COVID-19 epidemic, with excess ethnic minority deaths (2019-2021); Black Lives Matter protests (2020); Energy Cost of Living Crisis (2021); and the recent revulsions over the damning Metropolitan Police Report (2023) - demands our attention and response, and these are mainly highlighted or provide signposts for addressing.


Increasingly, Black churches are seen as places that welcome and serve everyone who needs help. The Black Church Political Mobilisation Manifesto represents you. It explores, in eleven sections, major issues occurring in our everyday lives. You will probably find there are one or more issues that affect you, your family, your neighbour or church. More importantly, the Manifesto provides focus upon how we can all contribute to improving the quality of people’s lives in our cities, towns and

As before, each section in the Manifesto has three parts: The Current Picture, The Biblical Picture, and Where Do We Go From Here? with a list of recommendations for churches, groups and individuals to take action and get involved.


Saturday 20th May 2023 is our day to show solidarity. NCLF believes ‘Black Lives Matter’ and together we are a Black Church movement that engages in what really matters, both earthly things and heavenly things.

Over 700 people attended the first edition launch event. Let’s push the boat out and reach many more this time.

The launch event is FREE and takes place at Christ Faith Tabernacle, 175 Powis Street, Woolwich, London SE18 6NL at 1pm. (Doors open at 12pm.)

Visit https://NCLFManifestoLaunch2023. to register.
08 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag

LCGC celebrate 40th anniversary in great musical style

Britain’s first-ever community gospel choir, LCGC (London Community Gospel Choir), recently celebrated their

40th anniversary with a special concert at the Hackney Empire, London.

The capacity crowd, which included fans who had travelled from as far afield as Scandinavia, Macedonia, Morocco and Ireland, were treated to some exceptional gospel singing from the legendary outfit, founded 40 years ago – in a sea of controversy – by Rev Bazil Meade MBE, Lawrence ‘LJ’ Johnson, Bishop Delroy Powell and Bishop John Francis.

Church leaders didn’t want their members joining LCGC because it comprised of singers from different denominations. Young people welcomed the opportunity to sing in the Choir and meet fellow Christians and joined in spite of their leaders’ reservations. Despite its tumultuous start, LCGC went on to become a training ground for numerous gospel singers and musicians – many of whom have pursued solo careers, worked as backing singers and band musicians for some of the biggest artists in the music business, or who have gone on to do great things in their own right. And they have sung throughout the UK, Africa, Europe and parts of Asia.

LCGC gave a performance to remember at this 40th anniversary musical spectacular. They opened the concert as a mass choir, comprising members from across the four decades the choir has been in existence. Lawrence Johnson directed. They then preceded to shine a musical spotlight on each decade the LCGC has been singing, with original members from each era performing.

The concert was a very good trip down memory lane and the audience heard gospel classics and original LCGC numbers, like Be An Instrument, Fill My Cup, Every Passing Moment and the closing number, Faith, with former members, such as Dave Daniel and Bryan Powell, singing leads.

The singing and performances were EXCELLENT.

The choir performances were interspersed with the history of the Choir, narrated by Muyiwa. It reminded the crowd that when God gives someone a vision, they should aim to fulfil it, despite the naysayers. If it's of God, it will last. It was evident that Bazil Meade and Co had stayed true to the vision; the Choir is still here.

As the concert drew to a close, Bazil shared that his son Leonne is now taking the helm. We pray that he leads the Choir to even greater success during the next 40 years. 09


The Black Church in the UK has a rich heritage of Spirit-filled leaders, passionate to see revival break out in the land. The last few years have seen the ‘fathers and mothers’ of the faith begin to pour into the next generation of audacious, fiery young leaders. Despite the media’s assertion of a decline in professing Christians, the UK Church is still very much alive and strong, as evidenced by the number of emerging new voices.

God is stirring the Church in this season, and I asked Tyrone what he believed we need to do to steward this current move of God well.

I believe the most important way of stewarding this moment is to ensure we don’t become familiar with what God is doing. I think the reason a lot of moves have ended is because we get to a place where we get familiar with the presence and the glory. Familiarity will kill that which we are drawing from God. We must remain thirsty and hungry. We cannot stop pursuing Him… We need to stay restless, stay hungry. The Bible says: ‘The hour cometh but the time is now’ (John 4:23). I believe it is hunger that can pull something that is coming into the now.

with unparalleled prophetic insights, Dr Oscar is not only one of the UK’s most decorated Apostolic-Prophetic theologians but also a respected exegete. With a mandate to educate the Church, empower the chosen, and equip the called, God led Dr Guobadia to birth The Brook Place, an apostolic-prophetic hub which is founded on 1 Kings 17:2-4: “…. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”

Twenty-one-year-old Evangelist Tyrone Junior (ETJ) is one of the youngest emerging new voices in the UK. With a burden to recalibrate the heart of a generation and steer them towards the Lord, the young evangelist birthed the ‘Wildfire Movement’ during the pandemic in 2020.

“In a dream, I heard the Lord whisper: ‘Let it spread like wildfire’,” Tyrone said. Sharing about his journey of faith, Tyrone explained: “I was born into a Christian family; my parents are ordained pastors. From as young as five I loved praying and yearned to be a preacher. During my secondary school days, I veered into the world and started drinking, smoking and clubbing. In 2017 I had a Damascus Road experience at an all-night service and was radically transformed. I left that meeting, and immediately exited WhatsApp chat groups, and deleted songs and apps from my phone.” A graduate of RIG School and CFAN Evangelical Bootcamp, Tyrone has been featured on GOD TV and has shared platforms with the likes of Rev Betty King, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Evangelist Daniel Kolenda and Pastor Mike White

Another way of stewarding the moment is to let go of anything that seeks to take preeminence over God. We must be willing to sacrifice and pay the price to keep the momentum of the move till the coming of Jesus Christ. I’m reminded of Jesus’ first miracle. He said His time had not yet come, but a demand was placed on Him, and we saw Him turn water into wine. I think the three keys to sustaining the move of God are: (i) remaining hungry; (ii) being willing to sacrifice and pay the price for the glory; and (iii) placing a continual demand on God for an outpouring of His presence.

A plethora of ministries and ministers came to the fore during the pandemic, and one name we grew to love was Dr Oscar Guobadia PhD ThD ThM MDiv MBA MA BA. Armed with the ability to successfully combine theological scholarship and practical leadership training

Rev Dr Garrick Wilson’s story mirrors that of King David; a story of faithful service and commitment to honing one’s gift in obscurity. Charged with leading the emerging multi-ethnic and multi-generational NTCG Covenant Church Reading in 2022, Rev Dr Garrick is committed to building and discipling people. Speaking about his surrender to the pastoral call upon his life Rev Dr Garrick said: “I have a career, I’m good at my job. This was not on the agenda but thank God for leadership with foresight.” A scientist by profession, Rev Dr Garrick is also the director of BUiLD, a mentoring initiative for young men which provides them with access to educational and professional opportunities. They also learn key life skills and discipleship models to advance a purpose-driven lifestyle.

10 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag
Akosua DF brings to the fore three young leaders whose ministries are impacting the Church
“I have a career, I’m good at my job. This was not on the agenda but thank God for leadership with foresight.”

Gospel music has always been associated with messages of faith, hope and redemption, but in recent times, there has been a series of reality shows that have left many wondering whether some gospel artists, preachers and teachers have forgotten the essence of gospel music. These shows and biopics showcase the lives of gospel stars and their children – including their faults and scandals. In this article, we ask the question: Is flaunting your faults as a Christian the right thing to do?


One such reality show is Grown & Gospel, produced by Carlos King and broadcast in the US, which features six children of famous parents in the gospel music and church world. According to Julie Hines of Detroit Free Press, the show follows six childhood friends as they navigate the challenges of their personal lives and careers, while dealing with insecurities, challenges and past mistakes. In the trailers, the participants appear to be unsure of their faith and how to navigate the world while remaining true to their beliefs.

The question that arises is whether it is appropriate to watch the lives of Christians – who are essentially still grappling with their faith – unfold on national television. Is it right to make their mistakes and shortcomings public? The concern is that viewers may find it difficult to differentiate between good and evil, right and wrong, decent and indecent, particularly when it comes to people they hold in high regard, such as their church brethren.


While some may argue that these shows provide an opportunity for the participants to share their stories and connect with others, the question remains: Is it appropriate for Christians to flaunt their faults? The Christian faith is based on forgiveness and redemption, but that does not mean that Christians should showcase their mistakes and sins for all the world to see. Rather, Christians are called to live exemplary lives that bring glory to God, not themselves.

Moreover, these shows raise questions about the impact they have on the participants’ lives. Are they being exploited for entertainment purposes and TV ratings? Do they understand the implications of having their lives exposed to the world? Is there any psychological support or back-up if required? Some may argue that the participants are adults who can make their own decisions, but the issue remains they are still Christians who are meant to live a life that brings honour to God.

The Bible encourages Christians to confess their faults to one another (James 5:16), but


With the airing of reality show, Grown & Gospel, Juliet Fletcher explores the pros and cons of confessing faults publicly

this doesn’t mean they should broadcast their mistakes on national television! Confession should be done in a safe and supportive environment, such as a church congregation. A church community is a place where Christians can be vulnerable and share their struggles without fear of judgment or condemnation. In such a community, members can receive support and encouragement as they seek to overcome their faults and become better people. Recently, out of guilt, I stood up and made a confession about my lack of ability to be early for church. Most times I miss the praise and worship segment, but on this occasion I had arrived on time because I’d brought a guest with me. In the joy of the worship I thought, ‘Why do I miss this glorious part of the service each week? It’s so good!’ Unexpectedly, Pastor asked me to introduce my guest. Out of guilt I confessed my fault. Well, I’ve been attending that church for decades, and fortunately they treated me with some sensitivity and humour, but mainly with encouragement and respect for my open honesty. Although my personal example might rightly be viewed as minor, it’s the principle of confessing in an environment where my fault was received in the humility of my stance.


However, the confessions that take place on reality shows and biopics are not done in a safe and supportive environment. Instead, they are made in front of a camera crew and broadcast to millions of people – many of whom do not share the same values or beliefs.

This raises questions about the intention behind such confessions. Are they genuine attempts to seek forgiveness and redemption, or are they merely a ploy to gain sympathy and attention? Should we be using misbehaviour and indiscretions as a form of entertainment to enjoy?

Another concern is the impact these shows have on viewers. The Gospel is supposed to be a message of hope and redemption but TV shows that highlight the faults and scandals of Christians may lead viewers to believe that the Christian faith is hypocritical and ineffective. Instead of inspiring hope and faith, these shows may cause people to lose trust in the Church and its message.

I don’t think all our US brothers and sisters necessarily agree with these programmes – and I certainly wouldn’t want it to be a practice over here – but I can appreciate the benefits of reality shows when they are constructive.

In conclusion, while confession is a crucial part of the Christian faith, flaunting one's faults for the world to see is not the right approach. Christians are called to live exemplary lives that bring glory to God, not themselves. Confession should be done in a safe and supportive environment, such as within a church community, and not on national television for everyone’s entertainment. 11
Juliet Fletcher is the Creative Director of Green Tree Productions and Windrush Church and Music. She is also the founder of the Gospel Music Industry Alliance.

The Windrush Generation: Its Impact and Legacy

On 22nd June 1948, a boatful of Caribbean people arrived in Britain on an old Second World War carrier, The Empire Windrush They came to start a new life and on this, the 75th Anniversary of its landing, it's perhaps a good time to take stock, think about their legacy, and look at some of the difficulties we as Caribbean people are facing in Britain today.

It was ambition that drove West Indians, which forced them to work hard, save their money, buy their homes, care for their families, and enrol in night schools to improve their lot. Ambition is a desire to do and achieve more than that which is thought possible, and West Indians had this in abundance. It is not a passive imperative but an active one, and this mirrors my own family story and that of many West Indians who borrowed the money to come to Britain, paid it back in no time, and bought a home for the family to live in. In my case, if you know where we come from way up in the hills of Smithville in Clarendon, Jamaica you will know how remarkable the journey my parents made to Britain was.

Buying a house was essential to most West Indians, and obtaining one was an outstanding achievement, especially when you think most came here with literally nothing. We don't know how many people bought their homes, but it must have been substantial, for West Indians were generally excluded from the banking and financial systems of the day. They therefore had to rely on their own efforts to provide for themselves somewhere to live. What we do know, however, is that owning a house was high on their list of priorities, and today, as a result, 37% of Caribbeans own their homes. The Resolution Foundation 2020 report confirms this, showing that Caribbean households have an 'approximate median wealth' of £120,000, mostly inherited. By contrast, the Indians (£144,000) and the British as ethnic groups (£166,000) have more per household.

Besides buying their homes, Caribbeans also bought their churches, and if the value of these are included, the wealth in the community is not to be scoffed at. For example, excluding all the other Black Pentecostal churches, the two main ones alone namely, the Church of God of Prophecy and the New Testament Church of God have fixed

assets of over £36 million.

Education was a priority for the firstgeneration Caribbeans and, anecdotally, they have done well. However, today there are areas of concern within the Caribbean community, which, if not addressed, will see the legacy handed down by the Windrush Generation wiped out in no time.


One primary concern is that the Caribbean family unit where children used to learn the values of life, their race, their culture; how to face the world with confidence; and where they were equipped with the tools to navigate their way through life is essentially now broken and dysfunctional. The once-traditional family arrangement has been replaced by various versions, including single parents, lone parents, families with one or more parents, divorcees, and families cohabiting.

The result is that the Caribbean family is now disproportionally represented on all the leading social deprivation indices, and the former ties, bonds, kinship and community that supported and held it together have largely disappeared. They haven’t been replaced either, meaning

the Caribbean family is increasingly single and alone. It makes up 1.1% of the UK population (594,825) yet accounts for 16% of single lone parents with dependent children, 45% of which are in social housing. The state steps in where it can, but the long-term effect is that it can breed a culture of dependency, sapping ambition and drive.

Today, the Caribbean family suffers high levels of depression, anxiety, loneliness, drug abuse, mental illness and low motivation. The legacy of slavery, colonialism, empire and Commonwealth migration are often cited as

12 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag
chronicles the ambition that drove thousands of Caribbeans to migrate to Britain, and asks what the future holds for their descendants

responsible, and any denial, so the argument goes, misses the point, is myopic, and lacks historical reality. It is as if fear, uncertainty and hopelessness abound; ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’ (Yeats).

Undeniably, migration, adjustments, modernisation, new values and secularisation have all played a part and have adversely affected the family. However, this begs the question: how is it that the Windrush Generation, despite all the difficulties they faced, was able to achieve so much with so little, yet hardly displayed any of the deprivations many Caribbeans now demonstrate? And how is it that a generation of people with such a strong sense of ambition, work ethic and purpose has yet to see its legacy fully fulfilled as it should be?

Perhaps the Windrush Generation was slow to recognise the changes taking place in British society, and therefore was slow to implement plans to bolster itself and support the family. Maybe it didn't fully appreciate the effect racism, the environment and the decline of religion would have on it. As a result, the bonds that once held it together have begun to loosen, fragment and fall apart.

Now the Caribbean family displays high levels of depression, mental illnesses, suicidal behaviour, and drug and alcohol abuse at a time of relative prosperity. Statistically, these maladies were once negligible or unheard of within the West Indian community; somehow the Windrush Generation was able to cope. Maybe their expectations were low, or perhaps, because they didn't see themselves remaining in Britain and making it a home, they didn't look too far into the future, leaving a vacuum and a crisis of confidence.


Our churches must take some share of the responsibility, for the Black Church was once the pillar of our community. It does spiritual care well but doesn't look outward enough into the community to its members' social and

welfare needs. Perhaps it's because of the changing nature of British society or the perceived legal restraints it feels imposed on it. Or could it be that its members, who are now self-contained and relatively well off, don't need the Church as much as they once did?

Whatever it is, the Caribbean Church now seems to be on the back foot regarding the community it serves. What is it saying about the great issues of the day? What guidance is it giving on relationships within the family or the gender war within it? What is it saying about marriage as a covenant a promise to protect and not simply a contract or a legally binding agreement that anyone can walk away from? How often, for example, do we hear our churches speak out about the Black community's social deprivations? How often do we hear direct appeals from the platform/ pulpit on the virtues of education, as we once did? What plans do churches have to support the Caribbean single, lone-parent families with dependent children? What practical steps is it taking to help Caribbean males and females escape poverty?

These are the big issues and, as the oldest, most structured and wealthiest institution in our community, it has a duty and a moral obligation to take the lead.


There is an even bigger crisis facing the Caribbean community, however, and it may

be an existential threat. Not too long ago, if you referred to a ‘person of Caribbean origin’, you'd be talking about a person with two Black parents. Today, most Caribbean people either have a White parent or a White grandparent. The statistic is startling: 1.2% (677,000) people in the UK already define themselves as mixed race. This is 14.6% of the ethnic minority population a larger group than Black Caribbean, Black African or Chinese and Bangladeshi. The projection is that in a few years the mixed race group will become the largest ethnic minority group in Britain, which is quite significant. Are we prepared for this? What are the implications for the Caribbean family, and where will it leave it as a distinct racial group?

Who we are and what we do are part of a continuum of those who came, sacrificed and paved the way for us. We need to tell our story from slavery to the present day and let our children know they are part of a beautiful and powerful legacy. There is an urgency because, as our members increasingly fall into poverty and social deprivation, we need to arrest this development and chart a new course, because this one isn't working. 13 Christian love in action CIO Reg. Charity No. 1189098 Help farming families grow better crops NEW for 2023! Healthy livestock Organic cultivation Transforming farms in Order a pack or download video from: Or contact: Operation Agri, 361 Firs Lane, Palmers Green, London N13 5LX. Tel: 0800 915 3201 Great for Harvest Operation Agri Resource Pack video, poster, handouts, family worship
Roy N Francis is a former BBC TV producer, founder of Roy Francis Productions and is the author of Windrush and the Black Pentecostal Church in Britain’. For more details, visit


Richard Reddie looks at the similarities between Windrush Day and Refugee Week, arguing that both initiatives enable us to focus on the challenges experienced by migrants

For many Black folks in Britain, June is the month that we mark Windrush Day and celebrate the myriad contributions Black people have made to this country over the generations.

This year, being the 75th anniversary – and possibly the last major occasion to include those who actually sailed on that iconic sea vessel – it will have a special significance. As such, plans are afoot to celebrate this event in a plethora of ways, including a church service at Southwark Cathedral on 22 June 2023. Moreover, many Black Christians are using this anniversary as an opportunity to remind everyone that, alongside the National Health Service and London Transport, the Church has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of the Windrush Generation.

to better engage in immigration and asylum matters. In response to these aforementioned incidents in areas with asylum seekers, we called on politicians to ‘mind their language’ and to avoid using speech that inflames rather than calms. Moreover, we argued that if governments persist in housing asylum seekers in some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the country, those areas must be better resourced to ensure everyone’s needs are met.

One of the current arguments levelled by some local people is that asylum seekers allegedly obtain the lion’s share of what little resources are available. We also suggested that there needed to be better opportunities for encounter between local communities and asylum seekers to break down barriers, dispel misconceptions, and to offset the activities of far-right groups who appear hell-bent on stirring up trouble.

The last day of Refugee Week is Sanctuary Sunday, a day established by the Church of Sanctuary initiative, which was established by Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, to encourage churches on these shores to be more welcoming to refugees, asylum seekers and those in need of ‘sanctuary’. The Bible has much to say about the sanctuary and welcome toward the stranger and alien, and given the current times in which we live, it is paramount that churches take heed of the Good Book.

In the past, Christians – especially Black ones – adopted a binary approach to Windrush Day and Refugee Week; they either marked one or the other. I would argue that it makes sense to do both. At the heart of both Windrush Day and Refugee Week is a story of migration; people moving from one part of the world to another for various reasons. The question we need to ask ourselves is: what sort of welcome faces them?

What is interesting is that Windrush Day always falls within the timeframe of Refugee Week, which is usually the third week in June. This year it is 19-25 June and is once again an opportunity for Britons to use the arts and culture to gain a better understanding of the lives and plight of refugees.

This year’s theme is ‘Compassion’, and organisers are calling on everyone to change the prevailing narrative of hostility toward refugees. Notwithstanding the way British and Irish people, especially Christians, have opened their homes and hearts to their Ukrainian brothers and sisters, it appears as if those fleeing danger elsewhere are personae non gratae. Sadly, a great deal of this negativity has been disseminated by politicians who have used inflammatory-like language that undoubtedly victim-blames some of the most vulnerable people in society. What is more, this has seen a number of incidents outside of hotels and hostels accommodating asylum seekers, which, on occasions, have turned violent.

I am currently the coordinator for the Churches’ Refugee Network, which encourages churches, para-church organisations and Christians

We are all very familiar with the Windrush narratives of indifference at best and rejection at worst, when people first arrived in this country. We are also very cognisant of the ‘Hostile Environment’ and government policies designed to deter those who are deemed ‘illegal’. It can be argued that the opposite of hostility is hospitality, and for Christians, this means showing the love of Jesus Christ to those who are considered the ‘least’ in society.

Many churches will no doubt use the Windrush anniversary to reflect on the ways they failed to provide hospitality to those Black Christian men and women who were part of the Windrush Generation. I believe that reflection is a very useful activity, but I think it should also go alongside efforts to provide welcome to those who are most in need of it now, such as refugees and asylum seekers.

For more information about Refugee Week and Sanctuary Sunday, visit

14 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag
Richard Reddie is a writer, researcher, cultural and religious commentator and broadcaster. He served as Director of Justice and Inclusion for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) and is the author and editor of several books.


Dionne Gravesande writes about the lives of Windrush Women and the characteristics that marked their lives, even when experiencing racism


Records indicate that on board the Empire Windrush were 257 female passengers from all over the Caribbean – 188 of them travelling alone. They were bold and pioneering women, leaving everything behind, to better their own and their families’ lives. They were nurses, teachers, cleaners and caregivers who worked hard to support their families and contribute to their communities.

Black churches were an important source of emotional and spiritual support to Windrush Women and helped them to navigate the complex and often hostile landscape of British society. Racism and discrimination were rife in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s, and Windrush Women were often the targets of this prejudice. Black churches offered a safe space where women could gather to discuss their experiences of racism and discrimination and work together to challenge these injustices and call for change. Churches provided a platform for women to speak out about their experiences, hopes and fears, and gave them a sense of purpose and meaning. This was particularly significant for women who had left their families and support networks behind.

Many of the Windrush men and women had been leaders in their communities in the Caribbean, and they brought these skills with them to the UK. They received many leadership and empowerment opportunities in the Black churches to use their skills and to take on leadership roles. This was especially important for women who faced discrimination in other parts of society and who were often excluded from positions of power.

Their lives changed dramatically, however, when the UK government introduced the ‘hostile environment’ policy in 2012, which aimed to make life so difficult for illegal immigrants that they would voluntarily leave the country. The Windrush Women were caught up in this policy, even though they were legal citizens with the right to live and work in the UK. Many of them had never been

issued with a passport, as they had arrived in Britain before the countries of the Commonwealth had gained their independence. The Windrush Women's experiences were a tragic example of the structural racism that still exists in Britain today. They were discriminated against because of their race, and their contributions to British society were ignored or dismissed. However, despite their suffering, many of them showed incredible resilience and strength, drawing on their faith, forgiveness and rage to cope with the injustice they faced.

to the late Queen, said that her faith helped her to see the humanity in others, even those who had hurt her. She said: “My faith teaches me that we are all God's children, and we must love and respect each other, even when it is difficult.”

Faith was a powerful tool for many Windrush Women, who turned to their religion to find solace and hope. For example, Yvonne Smith, a Windrush descendant and former nurse, said that her faith helped her to “keep going” when she was facing deportation. She said: “I had to have faith that everything would work out in the end, even though I didn't know how.” Similarly, Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Windrush descendant and former chaplain

Forgiveness was another essential tool for many Windrush Women, who chose to forgive those who had wronged them, even when it wasn’t easy. For example, Paulette Wilson, a Windrush descendant and former chef, forgave the government for wrongly detaining her and threatening to deport her to Jamaica, even though she had lived in the UK for over 50 years. She said: “I had to forgive them, not for their sake, but for my own sake. If I hadn’t forgiven them, I would have carried that anger with me for the rest of my life.” Faith, hope and resilience are three fundamental aspects to leading a fulfilling life and, as I read the testimonies of these Windrush Women, I see these three qualities working together in a complementary way to help navigate the injustices they experienced.

The Windrush Women’s deep-seated faith and courageous hope in God demonstrates a God-given resilience in the face of adversity, which in some cases helped them to emerge stronger and more confident than before, enabling these women to become the best versions of themselves.

Global Ecumenical Relations at Christian Aid 15
“My faith teaches me that we are all God's children, and we must love and respect each other, even when it is difficult.”


One of the enduring legacies of the Windrush Generation and one of Black Britain’s major success stories is its churches. Britain’s Black community are people of faith and leaders of its churches are men and women of influence.

It’s also a fact that many of Britain’s most educated, successful and wealthiest individuals have some aspect of Christianity in their backgrounds. With all this in mind, Keep The Faith has shone a spotlight on men of influence within the Black Christian community. Have a read and be inspired.


Senior Pastor, Kingsway International Christian Centre

Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo is a trailblazer, role model and key leader within Britain’s Black Christian community and beyond. He is Senior Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre, one of the largest churches in Western Europe. His name was etched in UK church history after opening the 4000-seater miracle centre in Hackney, east London in 1998. At the time it was the largest church to open in the UK in 100 years. Viewed as a visionary, Pastor Matthew launched the UK’s first church-owned television channel, KICC TV, and his television and radio ministry, Winning Ways, is received by a potential audience of several hundred million people in Europe, Africa, Asia, the USA and the Caribbean. He is an award-winning author, whose titles include What’s Wrong With Being Black? He currently presides over congregations across the UK, Africa and Canada. Visit


Academic, author and TV presenter

A leading academic and lecturer, Dr Robert Beckford has taught at some of the UK's leading educational establishments, including Birmingham University, Goldsmith College, and the University of Canterbury. He is currently Professor of Climate and Social Justice at the University of Winchester; Professor of Black Theology at the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham; and Professor of Theology at VU (Vrije Universiteit), Amsterdam. He is also a prolific writer, who has published eight books, including Jesus is Dread: Black Theology and Black Culture in Britain; Dread and Pentecostal: A Political Theology for the Black Church in Britain; God and the Gangs: An Urban Toolkit for Those Who Won't Be Bought Out, Sold Out or Scared Out; and his latest offering, Decolonising Gospel Music Through Praxis. Dr Beckford has also made 25 documentaries that have been broadcast on the BBC and Channel 4. Topics include God is Black, Who Wrote the Bible, Jamaican Bible Remixed and the most recent, After The Flood

Follow him on Facebook


CEO, Pentecostal Credit Union

Shane Bowes has been CEO of the Pentecostal Credit Union (PCU) since 2016. Founded by Rev Carmel Jones in 1980, the PCU is now regarded as one of the UK’s richest credit unions and has provided a financial haven for Black people to access a range of financial services including loans. Many church leaders used PCU’s loan services to help them buy their church buildings. The PCU has grown in wealth and profile since Shane was appointed CEO and it is now worth over £13million. The PCU also has a focus on encouraging younger members to join, as well as supporting and encouraging the economic development and empowerment of the Black community. Visit

16 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag


Presiding Bishop, Bethel Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic UK & Europe

In 2017 Bishop Dexter E Edmund was appointed Presiding Bishop of the Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) UK & Europe, a historic denomination founded in 1955 by the late Bishop Sydney Dunn, a member of the Windrush Generation. Bishop Edmund is also Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Bethel’s international mother church at Gibson Road, Birmingham. Bishop Edmund is committed to honouring Bethel’s amazing legacy but is also keen to develop a new generation of leaders who will provide leadership in pulpits and the wider world. He currently presides over 30 churches.



Administrative Bishop, New Testament Church of God

Bishop Claion Grandison is Administrative Bishop of the New Testament Church of God (NTCG) – one of the UK’s historic Black Pentecostal denominations which was founded in 1953. Bishop Grandison is currently overseeing the 70th anniversary celebrations of the church due to take place in August 2023 in Wales and is the first NTCG Administrative Bishop to fully utilise social media. Since his appointment he has released his vision for the church as well as made several new appointments. Bishop Grandison has extensive experience in ministry: from 2000 to 2003 he served as regional NTCG Youth and Christian Education Director in the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe, and St Kitts & Nevis. Upon returning to the UK, he became pastor of NTCG Woolwich. During his time there he established several initiatives, including the Mentoring Leadership Programme (MLP), a homeless kitchen, and a hardship fund during COVID. Prior to his current appointment, Grandison served as Bishop of NTCG Croydon district.



Gospel music singer/songwriter, musician and producer

Samuel Nwachukwu, aka CalledOut Music, is a leading figure in UK Gospel. A member of RCCG, CalledOut Music has built a large fanbase on supporters whose love of his music has seen him gain a social media following of 26,100 people on twitter and 185,000 Instagram. He has also had over 13.6 million streams on Spotify, 4.3million streams on iTunes and over 15 million views on YouTube with his label HFP Music. His most popular song to date is My Prayer, which has had over 6.5million YouTube

views. CalledOut Music has received numerous accolades, including Best Male Artist at the Premier Gospel Awards in 2019; Best Gospel Act at the MOBO Awards in 2020; and Male Artist of the Year at the 2021 AStepFwd Awards.



President, Ascension Trust

Thirty years ago, Rev Les Isaac founded the Ascension Trust (AT), an organisation committed to equipping the Church to share the Gospel in the modern world. Since its formation, the AT has launched eight initiatives – its most well-known being Street Pastors, which was started in 2003. In his role as Founder of Ascension Trust, Rev Les has led missions across the UK and overseas; helped train and grow Street Pastors, which now has 250 teams throughout Britain; sat with government ministers; and been viewed as a spokesperson for the Christian community. In 2022, Rev Isaac’s sermon at the annual National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast – about integrity in public life – inspired the then Health Secretary, Sajid David, to resign, which led to the resignation of other senior politicians in the Tory Cabinet and the exit of the then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.



Host/compere, comedian and community leader Anthony ‘Pass Da Mic’ King came to prominence in the Black Christian community as a host and sought-after comedian. However, he has become a man of influence and can be seen regularly on BBC and ITV local news bulletins due to his work addressing youth crime in the London Borough of Croydon. Anthony co-designed and now chairs MyEnds – a project funded by the Violence Reduction Unit and the Mayor of London – which seeks to reduce serious youth violence. Croydon was once dubbed the ‘Crime Capital of London’, but through the work of MyEnds, with the support of church and youth organisations in the area, there have been no teenage murders in 16 months in the borough. Anthony trains the Met Police on cultural awareness and mentors 50 young people weekly. He is also an ordained minister.



Even though he is now retired from the Metropolitan Police, Leroy is often the first person the media calls whenever they need someone to comment about latest developments within the police force. During his time serving in the Met, Leroy was the founder of the Black Police Association and served as its chairman.


In 2020, he released his autobiography, Closing Ranks: My Life as a Cop. Such was the impact of the book that award-winning film director, Steve McQueen, created Red, White and Blue, a drama programme based on Leroy’s decision to become a police officer. The drama was part of BBC 1’s groundbreaking TV anthology, Small Axe series. The book also won the 2021 Best Memoir/Biography category at the CRT Awards. Leroy also works with three charities: Voyage Youth, Spark2Life and T2A (Transition2Adulthood).



Founder, The London Community Gospel Choir

The London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC) is one of the most famous gospel choirs here in the UK. Founded in 1983 by Basil Meade and others, it has become a leading outfit and played a key role in establishing gospel music as a respected artform. Under his leadership LCGC has performed in theatres and music venues throughout the UK, as well as in Europe, Asia and Africa. The Choir recently performed in the Solomon Islands. Aside from being a touring choir, LCGC has also run workshops; performed alongside some of the most famous artists in the world; and served as a training ground for some of Britain’s premier singers and musicians, including Mark Beswick, Dave Daniel, Michelle John and many more.



focused his attention on reaching the youth. Latterly he is being recognised for his ability to reach Millennials and Gen Z; for the growth of ARC Forest Gate and an extensive church planting programme that has seen him lead the establishment of several ARC churches in London, Essex, Birmingham and Ireland; and a Bible school. In the process of planting churches Pastor Nembhard has raised up a new generation of young leaders, some of whom now lead ARC churches. Aside from his work as leader of ARC Global, Pastor Nembhard is an in-demand preacher and teacher.



Station Director of Premier Gospel, worship leade and presenter of Turning Point International Muyiwa is one of the most successful worship leaders to come out of Britain’s African Church and has performed throughout the UK, Europe and Africa. Muyiwa has released a total of seven albums and in 2009 he became the first international artist to appear on BET’s Celebration of Gospel programme. Aside from being an artist, Muyiwa is also Director of Premier Gospel, Britain’s leading gospel music station and home to the Premier Gospel Awards. For the past 13 years Muyiwa has presented Turning Point International, a faith-based programme broadcast to 70 million people across Africa and Europe. In 2020 Muyiwa received an OBE for services to music.



leader, church planter, preacher and teacher

In the past decade Pastor Peter Nembhard, founder of ARC Global, has become a minister to watch. He first entered the consciousness of the wider church in 2008 when, following the stabbing of a teenager in his church, he


Director of One People Commission, Evangelical Alliance and author

This Nigerian Baptist minister is currently leader of the One People Commission, an arm of the Evangelical Alliance that celebrates diversity, promotes unity, and connects with Britain’s ethnic churches. Rev Dr Olofinjana is also the founding director of the Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World; an Honorary Research Fellow at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham; and is on the Advisory Group on Race and Theology of the Society for the Study of Theology (SST). He is a consultant to Lausanne Europe, advising them on matters related to diaspora ministries in Europe. He is on the Christian Aid Working Group of Black-Majority Church leaders, exploring the intersection of climate justice and racial justice, and a member of Tearfund’s Theology Committee. Israel lectures at Christ Theological College on themes related to World Christianity.


18 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag


Church leader, social entrepreneur and public campaigner

Pastor Omooba has played a pivotal role in the Church for over 35 years. He is co-founder of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre, organisations that defend Christians against unjust laws that seek to curtail expressing their faith. Pastor Omooba co-founded the Christian Victory Group (CVG), and for the past 30+ years has helped churches across the UK and Africa to establish over 100 social action projects. In recent years

Pastor Omooba has served as President of the National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF) which aims to provide a Christian voice for Britain’s Black Church community. The NCLF is gearing up for the publication of its second manifesto, which will call churches to engage in social action in a wide range of areas.

Pastor Omooba received an MBE for voluntary services.

Visit and


Head of BBC Religion & Ethics for BBC Audio

Tim Pemberton serves as Head of BBC Religion & Ethics. Prior to this he led the BBC Africa team as Executive Editor for BBC World Service, and was also formerly Managing Editor for several different BBC England local radio stations. Tim is the son of the late Superintendent Desmond Pemberton, who was head of the Wesleyan Holiness Church UK for many years. He joined the BBC in 1989 as a production trainee, and moved on to BBC Radio Wales and worked there for three years as a producer before moving to BBC Network Radio and Television. Tim specialised in Religion and Ethics, working across a range of programmes as director, producer and senior producer. These included Sunday, Good Morning Sunday and Pause For Thought for Terry Wogan on Radio 2; a sports series for BBC 5Live; and the Heaven & Earth Show and Songs of Praise for BBC One.



Leader of Church of God of Prophecy, UK

Bishop Tedroy Powell is the leader of Church of God of Prophecy, which was founded in the UK in 1953. Bishop Powell was appointed to the role in 2017 and presides over 40+ churches across the UK. Prior to that he served as pastor of House of Bread, a COGOP branch based in New Cross, south-east London. During his time at House of Bread, he started Hillview Community Services, a community enterprise which provides educational support to its community. In 2004 he served as National

Overseer for Belgium and the Netherlands and established four church plants in those countries. Bishop Powell also serves as a Pentecostal and Charismatic President of Churches Together in England. Visit


General Secretary, Churches Together in England (CTE)

Mike Royal currently serves as General Secretary of Churches Together in England (CT), which brings together over 50 church streams to work together in unity. Bishop Royal is the former Co-CEO of Cinnamon Network, a charity which provides support and helps churches develop and run community initiatives, and a founding trustee and former National Director of Transforming Lives for Good (TLG), a charity that works with children and youth people at risk of exclusion from school. Mike has an academic background in urban planning and Black theology. He also has over 14 years’ experience as a mental health chaplain with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. Mike has been in ordained pastoral ministry since 1993 and was consecrated as a Pentecostal Bishop in 2016. Visit


Worship leader, musician, songwriter and producer

Noel Robinson is an award-winning songwriter, recording artist and pioneer of the UK gospel music and worship scene. He came to the fore as a young lead guitarist playing for groups like the Inspirational Choir, and was a resident musician on legendary gospel music show, People Get Ready. Noel has played on BBC’s Songs of Praise and has released six albums, including ‘Outrageous Love’ in 2015. He is the author of popular church anthems, ‘Rain’ and ‘You Give Me Life’ and his latest Integrity music release, ‘I Surrender’. Noel is committed to training worship leaders and musicians and hosted The Kingdom Worship Movement events in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester. Aside from leading worship at ministry events throughout the UK and across the world, Noel is the main presenter on the UK’s only live music Christian series, Vox Collective, and continues to impact the worship community around the globe. Visit


Theologian, lecturer and pastor

If you use social media and follow Marvin Sanguinetti, you’ll know he uses the platform to share insights and initiate debates around theological issues. Marvin is a Christian


theologian with over 36 years’ experience, working with three major denominations within the Pentecostal (Apostolic) faith tradition. For the past 24 years he has provided theological and Christian education to undergraduate and postgraduate students. He currently lectures at Newman University and is also an academic consultant. He is also a pastor, and since 2001 Marvin has led a small but vibrant fellowship of believers at New Life Apostolic Ministries International (London) – a small vibrant church. Visit


Bishop of Woolwich

The Rt Rev Dr Karowei Dorgu made history in 2017 when he became the first Nigerian appointed to the role of Bishop of Woolwich in the Diocese of Southwark, in the Church of England (CoE). Bishop Karowei is a leader of leaders, providing spiritual oversight for 89 parishes in the Woolwich Episcopal Area in the Diocese of Southwark, which covers the London boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham and Royal Greenwich, and parts of Bexley, Bromley and Lambeth. Bishop Karowei is also a member of the CoE General Synod and is Chair of Churches Together in South London. Prior to becoming a church leader, Bishop Karowei worked as medical doctor. He came to the UK in 1987; started studying theology (BA Hons) at London Bible College (now LST) in 1990; and was ordained as a deacon in 1995. The following year he was ordained as a priest. Prior to his bishopric, Bishop Karowei was Vicar of St

John the Evangelist in Holloway and was made a prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral in 2016. Visit


Senior Pastor, The Tab, Lewisham

In his role as Senior Pastor of The Tab Church London, Pastor Mike White has become a figure of inspiration to many. The Tab is currently one of the fastest growing Black-led churches in London and runs a number of community initiatives under its Restoration Empowerment and Community (R.E.A.C.H) initiative. Pastor Mike serves as a member of the board of Borough Deans, offering consultation and advice to the Mayor and to other council leaders on social and religious issues. A highly regarded preacher and speaker, thousands watch The Tab services live on social media. Pastor Mike is regularly invited to speak at churches and conferences throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, the USA and the Caribbean. He has also been regularly featured as both a speaker and host on TBN UK; Premier Gospel Radio UK; and the Word Network USA. A graduate in theology, Pastor Mike serves as a guest lecturer and Governor for Spurgeon’s Theological Seminary College, London. Visit


Leader of Wesleyan Holiness Church UK

David Whyte is the current District Superintendent of the Wesleyan Holiness Church (WHC), a denomination started in the UK by members of the Windrush Generation. Superintendent Whyte was appointed to the role in 2022 and has been given the task of setting a new vision and mission with defined strategic objectives for the Wesleyan Church in the UK. Together with the leadership team, he also aims to ensure that the denomination pushes forward with its mission to share the Gospel within modern Britain. Prior to taking up his current role Superintendent Whyte served as WHC's Youth Director. He also spent ten years in teaching, fulfilling roles such as Head of Faculty and Head of Year in secondary schools. Visit

20 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag
A time for just the two of you Discover how you can deepen your commitment to each other by developing a new way of communicating. A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime Engaged Encounter is a weekend away to equip and encourage couples preparing for marriage. Whether you are Engaged or Married, we have a weekend just for you! Cultivate your romance and deepen your commitment Discover new ways to help you communicate better Find your Weekend at: A chance to enliven your relationship A weekend just to focus on each other Find your weekend at:
Engaged Encounter should be compulsory for all engaged couples, whether Christian or not. What an eye-opener.’’
Our Marriage Encounter weekend transformed our lives, helping us to remember how much we love each other.
Alternatively, please call Ray & Val Humby on 01689 820466 Anglican Marriage Encounter (Registered Charity 292594) exists to strengthen and enrich marriages
together local knowledge and national expertise to share best practice and connect people
up to find out more about topics from sustainable heating through project evaluation to mental health support
out what's coming up, or watch past events
Free online events for churches Bringing

KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): Congratulations on the launch of your new book, Chef Ricardo’s Secret Recipes to Success. What inspired you to write your memoir?

CHEF RICARDO (CR): The book is based in an interview I did for an online channel about my life. The journalist who interviewed me suggested that the contents of the interview would make a good book. So, based on that, I decided to write a book about my life. It’s a guide for all those seeking to understand the mindset, skills and work required to live your dreams.

KTF: What would you say are the three key things you would like people to take away after reading your book?

CR: Firstly, no matter who you are or where you come from, you can make it in this world. Secondly, following the guidance of the wise elders in your family can help you to succeed and, thirdly, persistence is an essential ingredient for success. You have to carve out your path and head towards your goal in order to succeed.

KTF: It’s your work as a YouTuber that has set you on the path to success. When and what made you decide to launch your own YouTube channel?

CR: I started my YouTube channel in 2013 because a young man suggested it to me, but I only started to take it seriously in 2016 and have never looked back.

KTF: Do you remember recording your very first YouTube video? Did you have professional equipment when you started, and if not, what did you use to record your very first video? What kind of response did you get?

CR: I remember recording my first YouTube video; it was a video for barbecue chicken and rice. I got a videographer friend of mine to film it for me. I used my phone to film at first and then I bought a small video camera. I eventually moved on to more sophisticated equipment!

KTF: You are one of just a handful if not the only Jamaican chef on YouTube to have over a million subscribers. How do you feel about reaching that landmark number of subscribers, and why do you think your channel is so popular?

CR: I have to give God thanks for reaching this amazing milestone. I was given a Silver YouTube Creator Award button for reaching 100,000 subscribers and I’ve now received a Gold YouTube button for reaching 1 million subscribers. I think my channel is popular because I do lots of original Jamaican recipes but also lots of healthy recipes that are beneficial to a healthy lifestyle.


Ricardo Campbell, more commonly known Chef Ricardo, is one of the most popular Caribbean chefs on YouTube. His three channels have gained him over 1.5million subscribers. A Christian, Chef Ricardo is gearing up for the release of his new book, Chef Ricardo’s Secret Recipes to Success: From Poverty to Purpose, where he tells the story of growing up in poverty in Jamaica; achieving his dream to work as a chef; moving to England; and becoming one of the most successful Jamaicans on the YouTube platform. The book also includes some of his favourite recipes. Chef Ricardo spoke with Keep The Faith about his life and faith, and shares words of hope for those seeking to achieve success and live a purposeful life.

22 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag

KTF: It’s said that people – including people from the Caribbean – don’t like to cook anymore. Do you think your channel is encouraging people to enjoy cooking (again) and if so, how is it doing so?

CR: My recipes are simple and straightforward and this encourages people to cook more. I do Meat-free Monday, lots of tasty Jamaican recipes, as well as weight-loss recipes and smoothies.

KTF: Why do you think it’s good for people to cook?

CR: Cooking is cheaper, healthier, and a life skill. Cooking adds to an activity to keep us active each day.

KTF: Can you tell me a little bit about your childhood: where you were born; how many siblings you have; what you enjoyed doing as a child; and what role faith played in your upbringing?

CR: I was born in Jamaica and grew up in St Ann Parish. I have three brothers and one sister. As a child I loved cycling and, of course, cooking. I learned to cook from my grandmother; she taught me a lot of great cooking skills and recipes. Faith has played a major role in my life. God has guided and protected me and to Him I give glory, honour and praise.

KTF: What inspired you to become a Christian and what role has faith played in your life and work?

CR: I grew up in the church and I have always had a relationship with God. When I was living in Jamaica, I had a dream one night that someone dressed in full white appeared and said to me: “Young man, I call upon you when you are strong.” That had a real impression on me.

KTF: What made you decide to become a chef and what’s your favourite food?

CR: I became a chef because I love cooking. My grandmother always had me in the kitchen with her and I love how she cooked. I grew up surrounded by a vibrant hospitality industry, offering some of the best food in the Caribbean. As I worked my way up the ranks in restaurants, I was influenced by my family’s home-cooking style, and my love for the culinary arts steadily grew into a passion.

Growing up as a young boy I had a keen interest in cooking. I spent a lot of time watching my elders cook many different dishes, especially my grandmother and -father who loved cooking. My interest grew into a passion after leaving school.

I applied to be a kitchen assistant, doing basic kitchen duties like preparing

vegetables. Due to my eagerness, I was given the opportunity to help prepare simple dishes, like ackee and saltfish, rice and peas, and brown stew chicken.

After a short period, I was making these dishes independently. I stayed at this restaurant for two years and moved on to work in one of the top hotel resorts where I excelled and progressed into becoming a range chef. My duties included cooking, being a temperature control officer, and ensuring sure that the presentation of the dishes was maintained to a high standard. I remained in this employment for ten years, during which time I also attended college for two years and obtained a chef certificate. Further to this I did a two-year NVQ Level 2 Professional Chef Qualification.

My favourite foods are stew chicken with rice and peas and fried plantain; sweet potato pudding, and herbal teas like cerasee tea, ginger tea, fever grass and mint tea.

KTF: You have been a resident in Britain for many years now. What inspired you to leave sunny Jamaica to come and live in England?

CR: I got an opportunity to come to England and I took it. I knew that coming to England would give me lots of opportunities to learn and grow. I made many contacts when I began working in Jamaica and, during this time, I realised there were more opportunities to study in London. Although this wasn’t an easy decision, I made the move to London!

Since my arrival I have worked in many London restaurants which has given me the opportunity to improve my skills as a chef, and to make the most of my many new experiences. I quickly got a permanent job

in an after-school project, and stayed there for six months until a chef position became available in an international residential private school.

I worked there for two years, and during this time I obtained certificates in the catering industry. Before leaving, in my last few months, I started to work on setting up my own business. In autumn 2010, I opened up a small restaurant/takeaway called Chef Ricardo’s Caribbean Diner. Although this was an extremely difficult time, due to the pressures of opening and establishing one’s own business, my customers and family gave me a lot of encouragement and support which made me very enthusiastic. During this time, I thought about producing my own sauces. I began to experiment, eventually inventing my own sauce recipes, ie. Caribbean Sunshine BBQ, Caribbean Jerk, Brown Stew, and Curry Jerk. Due to personal reasons and family commitments the restaurant ceased trading. I have used this as an opportunity to work hard at developing my other business ideas.

KTF: It’s obvious you’ve made a success of your life with cooking. What new ambitions do you have left?

CR: I want to continue to cook and always improve upon what I am doing. I also want to have a closer walk with God.

KTF: How would you encourage someone with the same story as yours, who has been raised in poverty and has a desire to succeed?

CR: Firstly, you have to put your trust in God; believe in yourself; and be humble and positive. Help others, focus on your goals and be consistent in your efforts to succeed.

KTF: Lastly, what message of hope do you have for Keep The Faith readers?

CR: Trust and believe in God. Keep praying. Once you put your trust in God, He will do the rest. 23

The man with the Golden Voice

Jason Nicholson-Porter has one of the finest voices in UK Gospel. He’s a worship leader who has sung in churches and key events across the nation. He spoke to Keep The Faith about appearing on talent competition, The Voice, the inspiration behind his music, and his hopes for the future.

KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): You are considered to be one of the leading voices in UK Gospel. How do you feel about having such an accolade?

JASON NICHOLSON-PORTER (JNP): Honestly, I'm truly honoured to be deemed as one of the leading voices in UK Gospel, and I thank God because it shows that hard work pays off and motivates me continue to strive for excellence, as God is an excellent God.

KTF: You have been singing since your teenage years. What inspired you to pursue a ministry singing gospel?

JNP: Firstly, God called me, I heard the call and responded. Because of that I was sent on an assignment to effect change – no matter how big or small – for the UK gospel scene. Secondly, I love gospel music. I really, really love it! It has truly inspired me to use it as a tool to spread the Gospel.

KTF: You have a lot of milestones under your belt, including appearing on leading talent show, The Voice, in 2018. What was your experience on the show, and how did your appearance help your ministry?

JNP: My experience on The Voice was truly wonderful! It was so much fun. I went on the show as a gospel act with the intention to be different and share the Gospel with people who don't necessarily listen to gospel music. Unfortunately, my journey ended at the quarter final stage, but it seemed as if I left a good impression on everyone, and as a result of that I got more bookings.

KTF: What have been the key musical milestones in your growing ministry?

JNP: I have a number of milestones that uplift

me when I think about them. For example, writing, producing and releasing Send Your Fire and touring across South Africa with it.

I toured the country singing a duet with Rebecca Ferguson, who was a runner-up on X Factor. Singing on The Voice in 2018 as a gospel act, and being part of the Foreign Praise Collective – working with the likes of Marcia Walder-Thomas, Orv Thomas, Monique Shockness, Carol Bertogal, Roger Samuels, Paul Bruce, and its visionaries, Sam Facey and Dave Prince.

Lastly, doing my first-ever live recording on January 14, 2023.

KTF: You have written a number of songs, including Send Your Power. How do you feel whenever you hear congregations singing your songs?

JNP: When I hear the congregations singing the songs God gave, it’s such a fulfilling feeling. It's like I'm fulfilling purpose and it's so amazing to see how people connect with the message; it's so uplifting.

KTF: What Christian/gospel artists currently inspire you?

JNP: Too many, lol, but just to name a few: Kim Burrell, Miranda Curtis, Tasha Cobbs, Le’Andria Johnson, Rich Tolbert Jr, Todd Galberth, Eddie James, Todd Dulaney, Jonathan McReynolds, Tim Bowman Jr, Noel Robinson, CalledOut Music, Emmanuel Smith–Tali, Clive Brown & Urban Sound, Volney Morgan & New Ye, Becca Folkes, Annatoria, Isaiah Raymond & Co, Lurine Cato and Marcia Walder-Thomas. And many, many more, as their individualism, expression of worship and skill inspire me to be excellent in what I do.

KTF: What is your ultimate ambition where your music ministry is concerned?

JNP: To complete and finish 14 more albums in at least eight years from now. If possible, I would be so honoured and privileged if my music and this ministry God has given me helped to transition UK Gospel from a 'scene' into a fully-fledged industry. I’d also like to do stadium and arena tours for UK Gospel, and to see that my music brings all the UK gospel artists and ministers together to take this ministry global.

KTF: What should we expect from you in the next few months?

JNP: My first major project – a single called Smile, Child, Smile, and my album.

Follow Jason on Instagram @official__jnp/ 25
"I would be so honoured and privileged if my music and this ministry God has given me helped to transition UK Gospel from a 'scene' into a fully-fledged industry."

Hybrid Church is here to stay

The arrival of the pandemic has ushered in a new era for churches across the UK and beyond. Even churches that were previously slow to adopt new technologies have found themselves embracing it to keep their congregations connected. Fortunately, there were many readily available, easy-to-use tools that made getting started with online services easier than ever, and many churches turned to Zoom to connect with their congregation during the period of lockdown.

Now that churches have returned to in-person worship, there are still some pre-pandemic churchgoers who have chosen not to return to the church building but have continued the habit of joining Zoom meetings, prayer meetings, connect groups and Bible studies online. This presents new opportunities for churches to implement a strategic plan around having a hybrid church.

Hybrid church blends the in-person experience with those who are unable to attend church for whatever reason whether they are in care homes, prisons, sick or are elderly. Some churches are no longer offering any remote option to their congregation, but why abandon an online presence and miss out on the opportunity to engage with new people and build stronger relationships with those already in our online communities?

So the question is: how do we include everyone in our worship and service experiences, and how can we utilise tools

like Zoom to offer more than just a one-way broadcast? Live streaming was a significant first step, but eventually churches will need to think about ways to make experiences more interactive. A true hybrid service is an immersive, memorable and engaging experience that unites both in-person and remote congregations. With the right planning you can implement a successful and meaningful hybrid strategy.

At Zoom, we have successfully run countless large hybrid and online events using our own technology. We know that events will take many different formats and Zoom offers a solution tailored to fit any situation. When you’re planning a hybrid or a large event, think about what you want your user experience to look like, and ask yourself the following questions:

• How do I ensure the services run smoothly?

• What level of interaction do I expect from my online congregation?

• What will my physical setup be like, and how will I optimise my church space for both in-person and remote attendees?

Consider your digital setup: What software and tools will you use? If you are using Zoom, then ensure you have the correct subscription.

For large events, where attendees mainly just listen, you will most likely require Zoom Webinars. When you need more back and forth between the audience and the host, Zoom Meeting might be the better option. Or why not try the Zoom Events platform? This is the virtual event platform for hosting multi-day, multi-track virtual and hybrid events.

Think of webinars like a lecture hall or auditorium. Webinars are ideal for large audiences and events that are open to the public. Typically, webinar attendees do not interact with one another. Though Zoom provides options for you to get more social with your attendees, your average webinar only has

one or a few people speaking to an audience. Zoom meetings, however, are great for hosting interactive sessions where you’ll want to have lots of audience participation or break your session into smaller groups. Zoom Events was built specifically for virtual and hybrid events, and features innovative tools to showcase your content, connect attendees, and keep your audiences engaged.

Hybrid church is all about bridging the gap between the people in the physical building and those who are remote. The first step is to plan your digital setup, ie. the platforms, tools or software you’ll use to connect everybody in the service.

You then want to design the space in a way that allows remote attendees to see as much as possible. How can you ensure they feel like they’re in the service? Ideally, those remote attendees will have a clear view of the speakers and be able to see the congregation. Likewise, remote participants should be as visible and as present as possible.

In my experience, getting the physical setup right often takes some trial and error, so it’s worth trying out a few different setups during the week, before the service, to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day. No matter how simple or advanced your technological setup is, it needs to be optimised for the hybrid environment. Most importantly, you want to ensure you have a stable internet connection, good quality video and clear audio.

Hybrid events are here to stay. Make sure you utilise online tools to make them an enjoyable experience.

Hybrid services have become a regular church feature since the end of lockdown. Paul Morrison shares tips on how to make the experience more enjoyable for online attendees
Paul Morrison, a global award winner, is the UK education lead at Zoom. He is the founder of idare2inspire and is the Chair of the professional advisory board at the University of West Scotland.
'No matter how simple or advanced your technological setup is, it needs to be optimised for the hybrid environment'



looks at the case for the reality of God’s existence

Iremember a friend blushing profusely when her fellow youth group leader suddenly stood up and said: “Right – it’s about time we went out!” Although she leapt up in response, to her horror she realised he was telling the kids around him that it was time to play football; he wasn’t asking her out on a date!

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to focus on one thing – in my colleague’s case, the handsome youth leader – that we fail to see what’s really going on.

Take magic shows, for instance. We may think we’ve seen someone sawn in half or turned into a human pincushion as swords are being inserted into a narrow box but, for health and safety reasons if nothing else, we clearly haven’t!

It’s the things we didn’t notice – the concealed compartments, trapdoors, contortionists or doubles – that make the deception possible.

Our attention is drawn to one area of the stage, so we don’t see what’s going on in another. Seeing shouldn’t necessarily mean believing, and we shouldn’t be under any illusions about that!

When I was a child, I saw something brown in our front garden. My eyes told my brain it was a cat but, when I went closer to examine the unmoving creature, I realised it was a brown paper bag! Later, when I started wearing glasses, I finally saw things clearly. (Before that, I’d assumed that distant objects looked blurred to everyone.)

I experienced something similar when God revealed Himself to me. It was like being given spiritual spectacles. The way I saw life

changed totally. As CS Lewis once wrote: ‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.’

But what about those who don’t believe? Romans 1:20 reminds us that ‘God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen… so that people are without excuse.’

When I was small, I believed in God, but I became friends with an atheist and stopped believing. Was it the strength of my friend’s arguments that convinced me that God didn’t exist, or was it the fact that, in my sinful, wilful, unregenerate heart, I wanted to believe He didn’t exist so I could do what I liked without any consequences?

Psalm 14:1 states: ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”’ but because biblical folly is associated with moral deficiency rather than stupidity, I wonder if some people prefer not to believe in God because it’s more convenient that way.

After all, unbelief asks nothing, demands nothing, requires nothing. But that doesn’t make it right!

Romans 1:18-19 tells us: ‘The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain.’

As Hebrews 9:27 says: ‘…people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.’

For those who don’t believe in Jesus, all that’s left is to place one’s hope in chance,

karma, fate or luck – a kind of nervously crossing one’s fingers and hoping for the best.

Others, however, echo the defiant words of William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus: ‘Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul… It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.’

But that’s not really true! We have no control over our punishment or fate.

The 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes described man’s existence as being one of ‘continual fear, and danger of violent death… poor, nasty, brutish, and short.’

For those who don’t believe in Jesus, what Hobbes referred to as his ‘last voyage, a great leap in the dark’ must surely be terrifying.

Another philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, claimed in 1882: ‘God is dead... And we have killed him.’ Seven years later, Nietzsche suffered a complete mental breakdown. He died 11 years later, having struggled with pneumonia, dementia and a series of strokes.

God of course remains very much alive, as the existence of our complex and confusing world attests. The fool may say in his heart "There is no God", but what will happen when the fool’s life comes to an end and, like Nietzsche, he is no more?

Clayton 27
Gary Clayton is married to Julie, the father of Christopher (18) and Emma (15) and works for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). To learn how MAF planes enable people in 25 African and Asia-Pacific countries to receive physical and spiritual sight, visit



I think it’s great that during June, Father’s Day causes us to focus on the men.

It’s apparent that during the past few decades, so much focus has been on acknowledging and empowering women, we seem to have forgotten the important role men play in society. We need to shine a spotlight on the men – if only for the month of June.

Anyone observing social media will note there has been a rise in a phenomenon called the ‘manosphere’, where various websites, blogs and online forums promote masculinity, misogyny and opposition to feminism.

This manosphere, exemplified by men like Andrew Tate and the late Kevin Samuels, fiercely and passionately promote masculine qualities – sometimes to the detriment and humiliation of women.

I believe the rise in the manosphere is a male reaction to a world that has become so female-orientated, which they believe fails to acknowledge the role of men, their contribution and what they bring to the table.

There’s no doubt we need to be concerned about how men feel – especially Black men. Male suicide is on the increase, and men are often missing from our families, our homes and our churches. Furthermore, when taking into account the racism Black men encounter in education and the workplace, the mental health issues they face, plus the propensity for them to be stopped and searched by police more than their White counterparts – and be imprisoned – we definitely need to be concerned.

Christians, who recognise God has called

men to be leaders in their homes, their communities and the wider world, must view it as tragic when, for a variety of reasons, they are not living up to their God-given potential. The fact that some men don’t find being a Christian attractive – and their corresponding absence from church – must be a cause for concern, especially as Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ and 12 male disciples.

The lack of Black men in church has always been a problem. There is a multiplicity of reasons given, including the perception that Christianity is “a White man’s religion”; the feeling that church is more focused on meeting female needs; the strict lifestyle; and the failure of men to see where they belong.

I believe Black men will attend church in their droves when they experience visionary leadership; learn about the African presence in the Bible; believe that churches are interested in helping them overcome the mental and societal barriers they face; and understand that becoming a Christian aligns them with their purpose. Amen.


When you spend a lot of time in church, you’ll find that certain sermon titles get embedded in your psyche. ‘Let No Man Take Your Crown’ – a message preached many years ago by my first-ever pastor, Rev Io Smith – is one of them.

The gist of the message was that, as we walk the walk of faith, we shouldn’t let anyone or anything take us off the Christian path, which would stop us from receiving our heavenly reward for serving the Lord. We also need to adopt this approach when fulfilling our purpose. Sadly, I meet too many people who allowed discouragement from others to put them off achieving their goals.

Life is full of challenges and bad-minded people who want to prevent you from doing God’s work. Whenever this happens – and it will – just remember the words: ‘Let No Man Take Your Crown’, take them to heart and keep on keeping on.

Saving sex for marriage works

There are some very positive conversations about Black relationships taking place on social media, which is great because they’ll help men and women understand each other and relate to each other better.

I recently watched a clip on TikTok by @hardlyinitiatedpod, where three men were discussing relationships and one man shared that the reason he married his girlfriend was because she had saved sex for marriage.

I heard another YouTuber, Fumi Desalu-Vold, state that when she met the man who is now her husband, her father had told her not to sleep with him. The advice worked.

It’s good to hear people publicly state that it is possible to abstain from sex whilst courting and end up with the ring. Why? Because so many single Christian women feel pressurised by their fellow believing brothers to have sex. I recently read a thread about dating horror stories on twitter account Blagapé, which puts on events for Christians. The women who posted in the thread stated how their Christian dates expected sex in the relationships!!!

Something must be going wrong with church teaching on sex if Christian men think it’s appropriate behaviour to expect physical intimacy in a relationship before marriage.

Anyway… going back to the podcast, it’s good to hear a non-Christian man concur with church teaching about sex and marriage. It’s a reminder that men are prepared to wait to have sex after marriage if they respect the woman they are dating and desire to marry her. It should be noted, too, that any Christian man who pressures you to have sex whilst dating you does not see you as the woman he’ll marry.

I hope this encourages Christian women who are saving sexual intimacy for Mr Right. He’s out there. marciadixonpr
28 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag

Are you a trained therapist looking to relocate to one of the best places to live in the UK?

Bristol offers vibrant city living yet is close to countryside and coastline and senior community physiotherapist Shiva Pushpa is supporting a campaign to recruit more therapists to the region.

Sirona care & health which provides NHS and Local Authority funded community services for adults and children in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is offering relocation packages worth up to £8,000 for candidates, subject to conditions.

The not-for-profit social enterprise is expanding its Home First service to support people in the place they call home following a hospital stay.

Sirona is looking for both Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists to join the Home First service (and if you are a nurse, do get in touch as we have other services which could offer you a relocation package to join us in Bristol).

Shiva said: “I love working in the community because it gives me the opportunity to work with a huge variety of people and conditions – this makes it interesting as each day is different and provides me with experience in multiple areas.

“My role in the community is very rewarding because it can have a significant impact on an individual’s life.”

“Bristol is an interesting and vibrant place to live. I enjoy the range of activities available, amazing food and music events, plus there is easy access to other lovely areas of the UK such as Wales and Devon.”

Therapists work as part of a multidisciplinary team, using communication and coordination skills to support individuals to achieve their goals and, where required, access long term care provision helping them improve their quality of life and independence.

Nicki Carr, Interim Associate Director for the Home First - Discharge to Assess Programme, Sirona said: “ We know people

recover better in familiar surroundings following a stay in hospital and where possible we want to support individuals to be cared for at home or in the community.

“Our vision is for all who are medically well to leave hospital to receive the care, remote monitoring and treatment they need and to be supported to recover and rehabilitate at home.

“Research has shown that immobility in a hospital bed can lead to not only a longer stay but a loss of independence, so we are expanding the innovative ways to ensure people remain in the place they call home in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

“This will mean tailored support will be available and will be based on a person’s needs: this may include appropriate community or voluntary support at home or transfer to a community rehabilitation or assessment unit bed. You may hear this referred to as Discharge to Assess. It’s a really exciting time to join us.

“Our teams work with individuals to deliver shared person-centred goals, improving their quality of life and independence.

“We are looking for people to help us deliver this ambition to make a real difference to people and their families.”

Sirona is an NHS-funded employer offering Agenda for Change benefits including generous holiday entitlement, paid enhancements for bank holiday/night working, and the NHS pension scheme.

Nicki added: “We offer flexible working to fit around you and your schedule. There are plenty of development opportunities to ensure you can achieve your own career goals - all within a caring and supportive environment.

“Our core value is of “Taking it Personally” which means every interaction – with service users or colleagues - should be made as though we were caring for a member of our own family.

If you are interested in relocating to Bristol contact Sirona today sirona.recruitment@ or call 0300 124 5444.

More about the area Sirona covers:

Bristol – Home of the International Balloon Fiesta and infamous street artist Banksy, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and culture.

North Somerset – Discover the stunning scenery and the pictureperfect peaceful scenes in the quaint, rural villages.

South Gloucestershire – a place of outstanding natural beauty with characterful market towns and historic buildings.

We cannot be more connected to other people than we are to ourselves, because self-awareness is a key principle of effective leadership. So, what is selfawareness all about? It’s understanding ourselves, our emotions and our skills. This will help us to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, which will make us better problem solvers. It can even improve our relational skills, making us better friends, spouses and teammates.

One of my strengths is that I’m a committed Christian and my faith embodies my core values. I believe in the servant-hearted leadership approach, demonstrated by Christ, and outlined in Mark 10:43-45: “Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Having a mindset that leading is really about being an expert in caring for other people will help develop a heart that is pure and free from pride. It will also keep us authentic and consistent in our leadership style.

Emotional intelligence, self-awareness and a growth mindset are all key traits of strong leaders.

Emotional intelligence will help you to manage your weaknesses. For example, I’ve mentioned my strengths. I can also say that whenever I’m very hungry and tired at the same time, well… that’s not a good combination for me! I cannot, simultaneously, manage both of those conditions well, so I’ve learned to always, without fail, have some sort of snack in my


bag. And getting to bed on time is a journey I am still on! A growth mindset says it’s OK if I have these weaknesses; I can improve even if it’s small daily steps of focus and a commitment to continuous learning.

Continuous learning and progress are key, and being able to turn mistakes, challenges and failures to your advantage is all part of adopting a growth mindset. Self-awareness will help you prepare for failure and a growth mindset will make you celebrate it. If you, like me, are fully aware that your mouth has got you into trouble before…then you prepare for mistakes in that area. How? Well, sometimes you can determine to not always have an opinion. You can enter a meeting, having gone for a walk beforehand so you’re completely at peace, and decide that to live a more peaceful life, you will just refuse to respond to negativity.

Self-awareness also helps us to set boundaries and to forgive others for their shortcomings because we are fully aware that none of us are the full package. It also promotes unity. When we are fully aware we don’t know it all, it makes us more likely to draw on the expertise of a wider team. We listen to others and value their opinions; we ask the right questions with growth in mind; and we work more collaboratively. Insecurities, division and toxicity will be scarce in work environments, home and church spaces where selfawareness, emotional intelligence and a growth mindset are front and centre.

That’s a strategy embedded in emotional intelligence - managing your emotions, instead of them managing you and being fully aware that you could get it wrong BUT at least you have a plan! AND you’re developing the psychological tools to do better - and you will. Of course, in our success equation, prayer is the biggest factor of all.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 says: ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’

Thanksgiving and gratitude are central to all of this - as is the revelation that we are so blessed to be able to empower and help to shape the lives of others. Self-awareness should cause us to check ourselves regularly: am I complaining too much, becoming critical or ungrateful? Sometimes when we’ve been doing something for a long time, we can forget how passionate we were at the start. Gratitude goes out the window and we take the favour and grace of God on our lives for granted. The art of the possible is to daily give thanks for the position of leadership we find ourselves in - whether that’s in the home, workplace or church setting.

If you’re reading this and have grown weary in the leadership seat you occupy, command a grateful heart into existence, go before God and ask Him to relight that fire. Leadership is such a privilege; do all you can to do it well.

is Esther Kuku writes that developing self-awareness, emotional intelligence and a growth mindset will help you become a better leader
‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’
30 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag

Approximately one month before the global pandemic, on 20th February 2020, I was the host of an event highlighting and honouring men. The event was revolutionary. There were approximately 100 men in the room and something very special took place that couldn’t be denied. Fast forward two years to 1st March 2022, which saw the launch of my very first radio show called Naked Conversations - a safe place for conversations with men, for men and about men. The experience has been life changing.

As a single mother of four boys, it has been exciting and exhausting, scary and supernatural. Raising boys is not for cowards! Prior to having sons, I wrestled with the concept of living in “a man’s world”; my past experiences with men had left a very bitter and hateful taste in my mouth. It took years of mind renewal to see men from God’s perspective and to love them authentically, but that’s another story for another time…

It was the event in 2020 that made me realise how unappreciated and undervalued many men were feeling. The responses after the event left me in tears for days. I didn’t consider that there were men within my circle who felt the world would be a better place without them in it. That revelation was devastating. That was when I made a personal commitment to honour and highlight men as part of my mission. I realised that many men are hurting and broken, many are hiding, many are running, many are dying, and what they need is for someone to love them back to life.

But there is a missing link…

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV) says:

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’

My conviction is that women are the missing link We are the link that was purposely designed and designated to help and heal our men. Women were crafted by God to help men. Women were created for this very reason.

*** I realise this statement is controversial, having had many conversations with women over the years, because the realisation is that many women themselves are in pain and that pain has often been at the hands of men.***

Hurting people, hurt people. I know this first hand, but what if? What if we, as women,


Karen Allen explains why men need women, and provides insights on how women can effectively support the men in their lives

could push past or press pause on our own pain? What if we could see our pain from another perspective? What if we could find purpose in our pain?

It fascinates me that God decided to put Adam to sleep while He got to work on His masterpiece, the woman. God took something out of the man as His starting point in the creation of the woman. That in itself is a powerful metaphor. Every man who was ever created by God has something missing in him. Every man. There is no man on earth who has the capability to be self-sufficient. None. The Creator of all things, the God of the universe, said: “It is not good for man

to be alone.” God remodelled the man, so that He could create the woman, so that she could help the man fulfil his God-given assignment.

The problem is this: the world, society and today’s culture have distorted and dishonoured God’s original plan. There is something missing in every man intentionally, so they will hopefully recognise their need for women. Men need women. Women need men. We need each other. God designed it to be so; this was His original plan.

There are so many lessons life has taught me as a woman during this journey of ‘seeing’ and ‘serving’ men over the past few years. Here are some things every woman can do that won’t cost anything (not money, anyway) to serve and encourage men they encounter:

1. Be a safe space

2. Be softly spoken (gentleness)

3. Be silent (speak less, listen more)

4. Be a servant (this is biblical)

5. Be sensitive (pay attention to his needs)

6. Be submissive (this is not a swear word!)

7. Be strategic (you are an important part of the plan)

Women, we are the missing link.

Karen Allen is a minister, personal development coach, an activist who is challenging and changing the narrative for young people and Black men, and author of Thou Art The Man, a book for men. Visit 31

When we talk about men’s health and fitness, we often emphasise physical health, such as the size of their muscles, chest, arms, shoulders and legs, but are we discussing the right topics about men’s health?

Studies found that up to 60% of men are less likely to see a GP unless seriously ill. It was also found that fear and vulnerability were contributing factors as to why a lot of men were unlikely to see a doctor; they hoped the condition would improve on its own.

Two Timothy 1:7 says: ‘God has not given you the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind’, so why are men not using the power God gave them when it comes to matters of their health?

Some have allowed different societal stigmas to deceive them of God’s health plan; they have allowed an invisible pressure to compromise their health. This means they are missing out on the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and enjoy life to the fullest.

The consequence of compromise includes:

• stress

• depression

• muscle loss

• obesity

• reduced energy and libido levels

• decreased brain function

• inflammation in the body

Man was instructed to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28), and so poor health ultimately leaves the temple of God unable to reproduce after its own kind which goes against God’s Word.

Good health has a substantial effect on testosterone levels, which is why it’s important to keep your health in good working order and keep stress at bay.

Stress blocks thyroid function and lowers testosterone when it is high. Lack of sleep, poor


Olivia Williams outlines some steps men can take to improve their physical health and fitness

diet, and intense workouts also suppress testosterone levels and raise cortisol (stress hormones) levels, which affects reproduction and weight management. Research found that men today have 20% less testosterone than they did decades ago, resulting in a 50% fall in the sperm count in less than 40 years. This may be down to several contributing factors, such as hormone disrupters found in food, drink and personal care products. The good news, though, is God promised you good health (3 John 2).

Here are 11 tips to help men live a life full of purpose:

1. Acknowledge and maintain a connection with the Father. He made you and knows what you need (Jeremiah 1:5). Ask Him for help; let pride not enter your heart (Proverbs 16:8).

2. Set your priorities and vision for your health, family and church, then formulate a plan to live out a life of purpose.

3. Get your hormones checked, balanced and optimised - especially testosterone, as it’s vital for bodily functions like bone strength, hair growth, sperm production and libido. Optimisation will help you lose weight and build muscle, and could prevent prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, increase energy and improve or overcome depression. Low testosterone levels can increase oestrogen levels and leave you with undesirable man boobs.

4. Look out for products that contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in beverages and food containers, aerosol cans, plastic bottles, shop receipts and more. It raises oestrogen and lowers testosterone.

5. Include exercise in your daily routine. We all know that moving your body is good for your physical health, but exercise can have a huge impact on your testosterone

levels, mental health, heart and weight. Resistance and high intensity workouts are proven to boost testosterone levels.

6. Get a good night’s sleep - seven to nine hours for restoration of your cells.

7. Drink a lot of alkaline water to reduce acids and improve metabolism, hydration and digestion.

8. Eat well, include natural herbs, fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet, also garlic and ginger to help fight off infections.

9. Manage your stress and cortisol levels.

10. Finally, connect with other men to help challenge and build you up spiritually, mentally and physically. The Bible says ‘iron sharpens iron’ (Proverbs 27:17).

11. Help the overall health of your cells, tissues and organs by providing it with toxin-free, intact essential fats omega-3 and omega-6 for improving energy levels, stamina and performance.

For your daily dose of omega-3 and omega-6, here’s 20% off to get started: and enter the discount code at checkout: 20%ScriptFit

32 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag
Olivia Williams is founder of ScriptFit, a qualified health and fitness coach, personal trainer, and public speaker. She is available to give talks and lead workshops on well-being, health, fitness and nutrition. Email for more details.


Come and see what God is doing across London London Bridge | Waterloo | Clerkenwell | Limehouse

Join our missionaries across London and experience first-hand what God is doing amongst us across the city.

LCM is opening its doors to supporters and anyone curious to see how the gospel is being shared every day by missionaries working alongside local churches.

Come and meet our team, hear inspiring stories, walk the streets and learn more about one of our key ministries.

Come away inspired by what God could do through you and your church!

SCAN ME C a n y o u f o s t e r ? C a n y o u o p e n y o u r H E A R T & y o u r H O M E ? TALK TO US TODAY 0800 0856 538 2023 The Foster Care Co-operative R a i s e y o u r h a n d i f y o u c a n h e l p G
t A n g
N 33
o o d n e w s ! W e ' d l o v e t o s u p p o r t y o u t o s t a r t y o u r f o s t e r i n g j o u r n e y . W e a r e a
o t - f o r - p r o f i t a g e n c y s u p p o r t i n g f o s t e r c a r e r s a c r o s s W a l e s , t h e M i d l
n d s , E
l i
a n d t h e
o r t h W e s t .


Dr T Ayodele Ajayi shares some insights on how you can encourage men to open up about their emotional well-being and mental health

The statistics regarding men’s mental health calls for concern. Three quarters (75%) of suicides in the UK occur in males (National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health). Globally, suicide is twice as common in males than in females (WHO), yet only a third (36%) of referrals to Increased Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in England are for men.

The conversation on how to support the men in our lives with their mental health could not be more timely. The challenge however remains that only one out of four men feel able to talk to friends or family about their mental well-being. Men would rather talk about politics, sports and the economy, than emotions. Serious topics - like mental health, sexual problems and money - remain hard to broach with even their closest of companions, according to a recent survey. Could these facts partly explain this disproportionate gender suicide? The most at-risk men are war veterans, low-income earners, ethnic minorities, gay and the middle-aged. What is also a cause for concern is that a good percentage of men also feel it’s a waste of their GP’s time to talk about anxiety or depression.

The Alpha Male

Why does the male gender struggle so much to talk about feelings and emotions? Could the traditional societal definition of masculinity and the expectation of stoicism, strength, dominance and control from the Alpha Male contribute to this, and possibly detrimental to the species’ well-being? Some research suggests that a reliance on these traditional ideals of what it means to “be a man” may negatively impact men’s mental health. Men who feel as though they are unable to speak openly about emotions may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves, and less likely to reach out for support (Seidler et al, 2016).

Broaching The Topic

From years of negotiating this difficult terrain - both in my professional and social life - there are certain principles that appear to work when it comes to encouraging men to talk about their feelings and emotions.

Authenticity - Many worry that not being mental health experts disqualifies them from

supporting or talking to another person about their mental distress. Just being a listening ear and offering compassion, empathy and thoughtfulness are what is required.

Attentiveness - Men are not as florid with language when expressing mental distress. Be on the look-out for phrases such as “I’m feeling stressed, I’m not feeling my usual self”, as they may be the cue for you to ask again: “Are you sure you’re OK?” Check for conversation prompts.

Privacy - Sometimes the opportunity to talk to a man about their mental state comes at an unguarded moment of disclosure. At other times, it may require some preparation on the part of the supporter to arrange a private place and time to talk. An invitation to lunch, coffee or even a jog or walk can be what it takes for the other person to confide.

Parity - Approaching a friend as a peer rather than as his superior is more likely to get him talking. Phrases such as “man up” or “grow up” have been identified as conversation blockers. No man wants another advising them on how to run their lives! A collaborative approach to a safety plan is more effective. Don’t forget to agree further support and checking-in times and methods.

Reciprocity - 35% of men surveyed in 2019 disclosed that if they wanted to talk to a friend about their mental health, they would first ask how their friend is doing, hoping that reciprocation will open a conversation. I have found that sharing some of my vulnerabilities can be a great way to put the other person at ease.

Celebration - One of the greatest boosters you can give another man at their moment of mental distress is to offer a genuine compliment on something that is going right in their lives. That may well be thanking them for granting you access to the recesses of their hearts.

Confidentiality - Men will only share their emotions, insecurities and feelings if they know they are safe with you. The caveat to confidentiality would be that disclosure may be mandatory if a suicidal or homicidal plan is disclosed. In such rare instances, it is best to let the other person know why it is in their best interests to share, so they can receive immediate help.

34 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag
Dr T Ayodele Ajayi MBchB FRCPsych is a consultant psychiatrist, founder and convener of the Tripart Care Emotional Wellbeing Hub and has a YouTube channel called TriPart Care.

Academics Dr Ava Kanyeredzi and Dr Joanne Wilson recently revealed findings of their research which looked at how Britain’s Black-majority churches supported victims of domestic abuse and how victims feel about that support at a special gathering at the University of East London, Stratford.

Both academics spoke in depth about the research methodology and findings, and in doing so, provided directives for churches that want to offer appropriate support.


Keep The Faith explores new research that highlights the role churches can play in preventing domestic abuse and supporting its victims

subject of domestic abuse in their sermons, victims were more likely to report their abuse to the church leadership team; and • Churches responded more effectively to DVA when their leadership teams have professional experience of working in social services; their response to dealing with victims of DVA was much more effective.

Domestic abuse is a major problem within British society, including within Black communities. According to the main Crime Survey for England and Wales, 5% of adults (6.9% of women and 3% of men) aged 16 and over experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022. This equates to an estimated 2.4 million adults (1.7 million women and 699,000 men). These stats include women who attend Britain’s Black Pentecostal churches.

(BCDAF), launched in 2021, provides training for church leadership teams so they can give appropriate support to victims of DVA in their congregations and in their local communities. It welcomed the research findings. Elaine Bowes, a lead member of the BCDAF, said: “Last year the international Christian community was in shock at the death of Nigerian gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu. It was revealed she had been a victim of DVA but, due to her personal conviction about divorce and with limited support from her church, she remained in the marriage. It appeared that her church didn’t know how to properly support her.”

A total of 35 people took part in the research, and of that number, 34 responded to a survey; three were in a focus group and six took part in individual interviews. Six of the participants were church leaders and 13 participants (38%) had personally experienced violence and/or abuse. The majority had not looked for support whilst going through their abuse, and two participants admitted they had abused a partner in the past.

Several key findings have come out of the research:

• Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) believing that some churches tend to protect the abuser, especially if they are members of leadership teams;

• The view that when preachers mentioned the

This research was carried out due to the major role the Church plays in the lives of Black women, as the Church is often the first organisation women turn to for support when they personally experience DVA.

Dr Kanyeredzi explained: “Whilst carrying out this research, we found examples of churches providing really good support for victims. One key problem identified, particularly in this study, was that issues arose when the people reporting abuse were wives of senior ministers or church leaders.”

She continued: “It was evident that some churches found it particularly difficult, because leaders represent something really positive within church and the wider community which is good marriages. If a minister is seen to be abusing their spouse, it raises the question of what it means for the Church and, as a result, causes tension.”

The Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum

Elaine added: “We know from our training sessions with church leaders that the Church is often the first place victims look to for support when experiencing DVA. If churches take note of the research findings particularly the fact that sermons on DVA encourage members to disclose they could play a major role in helping to prevent DV as well as supporting those who experience it.”

Dr Ava Kanyeredzi would like the research findings to impact how churches approach the issue of DVA. She said: “It’s my hope that this body of research will encourage greater discussion of domestic violence and abuse within church settings and empower church leaders to provide appropriate support for victims of domestic abuse within their congregations.”

Visit 35

Ministry leader and pastor, Yvonne Brooks, provides wise, compassionate and insightful advice to readers experiencing problematic life issues

My heart has been broken by my husband’s adultery

My husband has just confessed to having had three affairs in the past three years of our marriage. We’ve been married for 15 years, have three children and he’s a pastor. Shocked is an understatement. One of the women is someone I know. I thought we had a good marriage, and ever since I found out, I haven’t stopped crying. I feel broken, hurt, betrayed and angry, all rolled into one. My husband has asked for my forgiveness… and I know that as a Christian that is the right thing to do, but I don’t know if I want to be with him anymore. The pain runs deep. I worked hard alongside my husband helping to build his ministry. I was the dutiful wife, sacrificing my own aspirations to support his. I feel I have been repaid in the most awful way, and just need some direction on how to move forward as I have some important decisions to make.

Wendy, London

Pastor Yvonne: I am so sorry that after 15 years of working in ministry with your husband, this has been the result. Can I ask what changed in the last three years? Your husband needs help on all levels. Whoever is the primary leader in your organisation needs to be contacted, as your husband needs to be relieved of all duties as a pastor whilst a full investigation is undertaken. I realise there will

Matters Heart of


be fallout for you, your family and the church, but this cannot be covered up.

Your tears are understandable; being a Christian does not give you immunity to feelings of betrayal and loss. Whilst it is good for you to want to forgive your husband, you face the possibility that you may not be able to stay in the marriage.

Discussions should take place on who stays in the marital home, and you need time for you and the children to process what has happened. Please do not allow yourself to be pressured into anything, but with counselling and reflection make your decisions once you have worked through your feelings. Whether you decide to end your marriage (his adultery gives you biblical grounds) or stay in the marriage, consider your husband’s posture and your ability to respond to it. Do not rush into anything and ensure that you have experienced people around you for support, people who are praying for you and your marriage.

You have my sincere prayers.

Health warning: As a priority, pastors and spouses should be given time to strengthen and invest in their marriage relationship, as this in turn becomes a support structure to their ministry.

How can I improve life for me and my son?

I’ve been at my church for two years and have been a Christian for four. I attend the Women’s Ministry events, but instead of making me feel better they often end up making me feel worse. Everyone seems to be doing so well in comparison to me. They are either succeeding in their career, running a business, or are invited to participate in exciting activities, but hearing about their stories and experiences just makes me feel stuck and out of place. And most of the women are married. I’m a lone parent of a young son. And I’m on benefits. I want to upgrade my life, but I’m not sure how to and am afraid to ask.

Pastor Yvonne: I think the key words are ‘seem to be doing so well’. Perception is key. If you were able to have an honest conversation with any of these women, you would find they are having similar struggles and insecurities. Maybe they are just better at putting their best foot forward. For things to change, start where you are, be intentional, and focus on getting the most out of your relationship with Christ. His promises will work for you as you act on them.

Be the best parent you can be; give your son the attention and support he needs. Decide on where you want to be in your life, and what you want for your future (goals). Seek a mentor who will share the benefits of their life experience with you. Rather than trying to be part of a large group of women, work on building a small circle of friends over coffee; build mutual trust and realise that where you are today is not permanent and things will change for the better.

If you would like help with a problem, email Your details will not be published.

Pastor Yvonne Brooks is a co-pastor at New Jerusalem Community Church, Birmingham, and founder of Woman of Purpose, a ministry that encourages women to fulfil their purpose. She is also a speaker and author. For more details visit

36 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag
‘Seek a mentor who will share the benefits of their life experience with you.’


To have healthy hair you need to pay attention to the health of your scalp. Hair specialist Verona White explains how to attain good scalp health


Each individual hair grows from your scalp and through it, and the amount of hair varies from person to person. It is so important that your scalp is clean, clear and healthy because if your scalp is full of dead skin, dry skin, dandruff or is infected, this will have an impact on the quality and growth of your hair. Inflamed or obstructed follicles may stop the hair from growing because there will be no entry point for the hair to grow freely. Cleansing your scalp will remove all that build-up and inflammation. If you go as long as months at a time without cleansing your hair, you will experience bacteria build-up, and if you don’t have a scalp detox, it will affect the growth of your hair.


scalp, make sure the product is light enough to be absorbed into the skin as the scalp responds to small changes. If you have a protective hairstyle which is too tight, this will also cause irritation and is another reason why your scalp might itch.

Blocked pores will also irritate the scalp and if the hair continues to grow, it will grow in a circular formation beneath the scalp and can become infected. This can also happen if you have thick layers of dead skin.


There are infections affecting the scalp that need medical treatment. Some of the disorders you can experience are folliculitis psoriasis, eczema, ringworm and, in very rare cases, headlice. Although lice will not survive in very curly hair, they can still get into your hair from someone else. You should always check your scalp for anything abnormal, and once your scalp is infected, and the hair falls out, the follicle will not be able to produce hair in that area.

Your body can usually tell if something is wrong and if you are continually itching your scalp, you should always check that area. Do not self-diagnose as this can lead to more challenges on your scalp. Speak to your hairdresser or doctor instead. Often, we can save our hair if we are keeping a close eye on it.



We should detox our scalp at least four times a year. The detox will get rid of any hidden products that harbour in the hair follicle. You can detox your hair in a few different ways. One way is through a scalp scrub. This special recipe has equal parts of bentonite clay, aloe vera gel and apple cider vinegar. Mix together, put all over and cover with a shower cap for 20 minutes. Rinse out the scrub, and then shampoo once to remove residue. Deep condition the hair and apply moisturising products to the hair as directed.

When your scalp starts itching, it is a sign that you either have bacteria caused by sweating, by pollution that remains on the scalp, sebum, or you may be allergic to hair products that you have used. Another common cause can be that shampoo or conditioner has not been rinsed out of your hair and scalp properly, and causes irritation when it dries into the scalp. Dryness of the scalp can also cause irritation, but if you are going to apply products to your

Even if we wear hair extensions, we should not assume itching of our scalp is normal. If we are experiencing an itchy scalp whilst wearing extensions, it can mean they are too tight, or infection has reached the follicle. We have learnt that if we put products on our scalp, like Vaseline or similar textured products, it will get rid of the dry patches. Using the right product is essential, as this can lead to dehydration on the scalp and cause it to be even drier.


If you or your hairdresser have tried everything and the problem remains, then you should visit your trichologist. They will look at your scalp at a microscopic level, diagnose what’s wrong and provide treatments to remedy the problem.

Fore more details visit 37
Verona White is a hairstylist, wig technician, natural hair specialist and author of 21 DIY Recipes for Curly Afro Hair.

There are so many options when it comes to meat alternatives these days. Here in the UK, according to the Vegan Society: ‘In 2019, the UK meat alternative market was valued at $489.2 million and is expected to hit $726.8 million in 2025, growing at an estimated CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 6.8% between 2020-2025.’

In terms of revenue, this accounts for nearly 30% of the total European meat alternative market. In 2018, the UK claimed the top spot, globally, for the number of vegan new product development launches. In figures, this meant ‘16% of all new food products launched were vegan, doubling from 8% in 2015’ (Mintel).

So, if you would like to try some tasty meat alternatives, here are two recipes I am sure you will love.

Cook with Kirly-Sue

Welcome to ‘Cook with Kirly-Sue’. I hope you will become a regular participant with me in discussing food and drink.

‘Cook with Kirly-Sue’ is a celebration of the foods I like to eat. Simple enough, right? But this is only a start, because I hope you’ll share your favourites with me and all the other Keep The Faith readers! I will always share tasty, easy-to-make recipes and cooking tips with you.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via my social media handles, @KirlySuesKitchen or for more information visit

• ½ tsp all-purpose seasoning

• ½ tsp paprika

• 1 tbsp oil


1. Boil the mushrooms in the sage, all-purpose seasoning, 1-2 tsp jerk marinade and nutritional yeast for about 10mins.

2. Drain the water and pat dry with a kitchen towel.

3. Layer the mushrooms in slices to form a chicken breast shape.

4. Take one sheet of rice paper at a time and submerge into boiling water for 5 seconds and then drain.

5. Wrap the rice paper tightly around the shaped mushrooms.

6. Brush generously with jerk seasoning.

7. Roast in the oven for 15-20mins at 190C/ 375F/ Gas Mark 5, and turn halfway through.

Tips: I recommend making your own jerk marinade if you can’t take a lot of hot spice. You can find my recipe video for jerk seasoning on YouTube ( watch?v=p6x2XQT5wQo).



Tofu Balls:



• 6 king oyster mushrooms

• 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

• 1 tsp sage

• 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning

• 1 tsp allspice

• 1-2 tsp jerk seasoning

• 1 pack of rice paper sheets

Coating Seasoning

• 1-2 tsp jerk seasoning

• 2 blocks (400g) tofu

• 1 onion, finely diced

• 2 cloves garlic, finely diced

• 2/3 cup (75g) chickpea flour

• 2/3 cup (45g) breadcrumbs

• 1 tbsp coconut aminos

• salt and pepper to taste

Coating Seasoning

• 1 tbsp tomato puree

• 1 tbsp coconut aminos

• 4 tbsp oil

• 1 tsp paprika

• 1 tsp ground cumin

• ½ tsp garlic powder

• 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning

Sweet curry sauce:

• 1 tbsp curry paste

• 1 tbsp white vinegar

• 1 tbsp sesame seeds

• 1 tbsp agave

• 2 tbsp ketchup


1. Drain and then crumble the tofu into a bowl.

2. Add all the tofu balls ingredients (onion, garlic, chickpea flour, breadcrumbs, coconut aminos, salt and pepper).

3. Mix together until well combined, and then shape the mixture into balls with your hands. Set to one side.

4. Mix together the coating ingredients (tomato, coconut aminos, oil, paprika), then add the mixture to the tofu balls and coat them with it.

5. Bake at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for about 35mins.

6. Remove from the oven, then allow to cool for 3-5mins.

7. Mix together the sweet curry sauce ingredients (curry paste, white vinegar, sesame seeds, agave, ketchup).

8. Coat the tofu balls with it and serve.

38 Find us on Twitter and Facebook: @KeepTheFaithmag

Could you be a trustee for a leading Christian charity?

Established over 100 years ago, we’ve been providing quality affordable venues for Church groups and Christian organisations to meet, worship and grow together.

Our trustees help us shape the future of Christian conferencing in the UK. We’re looking for new trustees as we prepare for the next 100 years of welcoming Christian groups and branch out to new venues to serve even more of the church.

As a charity, we welcome Church groups from all denominations and backgrounds and our heart is for our board to be as equally diverse. We’d love to hear from you if you feel that you have something to offer as a trustee.

Please email to arrange a chat and find out more.

24 June & 8 July 2023

Starts 9:30 from St Paul's


12 miles to help reach the 1 in 2 with the gospel
us in London on Saturday 24 June
8 July on this challenging and fun
12 mile sponsored walk and
vital funds to
the 1 in 2 people in London who
yet heard of the lifesaving message
help reach someone with the hope of
help raise
have not
of Jesus as you;
Take in the beautiful London landmarks
Enjoy a guided tour of London’s rich Christian history
Meet LCM missionaries and visit our centres To register, scan the QR code or visit 39
These roles have the occupational requirement under the Equality Act 2010 that successful applicants are practising Christians.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook

Articles inside

Could you be a trustee for a leading Christian charity?

page 39


pages 37-38

Matters Heart of

page 36


pages 35-36


pages 34-35


pages 32-33


pages 31-32


pages 30-31

Are you a trained therapist looking to relocate to one of the best places to live in the UK?

pages 29-30


page 28


page 27

Hybrid Church is here to stay

page 26

The man with the Golden Voice

pages 24-25


pages 22-23


pages 16-22


page 15


page 14

The Windrush Generation: Its Impact and Legacy

pages 12-13


page 11


pages 10-11

LCGC celebrate 40th anniversary in great musical style

page 9

WE’VE GOT POLITICAL! Black churches to publish Manifesto

page 8

Spreading the Gospel through fashion

page 7


page 7

Charity Commission inquiry uncovers misuse of funds at London Church

page 6


page 6

Marcia Dixon

pages 3-5

Editor’s NOTE

page 3
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.