Newcastle Adventists Take Part in Worship for BBC's Songs of Praise

13th July 2018

Lynn Samwinga and her daughter Liseli, both Newcastle Seventh-day Adventist church members attended the filming for TV of Songs of Praise for possible BBC1 broadcast on 5 August.

The City of Newcastle hosted the Songs of Praise on Thursday 5 July at St Thomas The Martyr Church. When people arrived, they were ushered into the main church hall and seated. Soon everyone quietened down and the Reverend started to speak. She welcomed everyone and gave the opening prayer. Then she introduced herself and said that it was an amazing opportunity for her church to host such a fantastic event.

She sat down and another woman from the production team stood up to give a run through of the programme for the course of the night. After that she introduced the band to everyone.

The band included Phillipa Hanna, the lead singer and guitarist, a Polish keyboard player. She is well-known to Seventh-day Adventist audiences in the West Country in her role as a worship leader where she has helped in youth camps. Her band also included two electric guitarists, a drummer and Abby, the backup singer and fellow songwriter with the group.

Following the trial run which went well, the first song to be recorded was 'There is a Redeemer' by Keith Green. Some songs were sung more than twice over the course of the night.

The diverse audience included young and old, from various cultural backgrounds, some of whom had travelled long distances. One couple came all the way from Cambridgeshire and were travelling back the following day

It was very clear through the vibrant singing and enthusiasm displayed that each one wanted the worship to be a blessing to viewers when the programme would be aired. Despite over three hours of recording no one seemed tired but were buoyed up by the positive spirit that was displayed.

The music varied from hymns like 'The old rugged cross' to songs written by Phillipa Hanna herself like ‘Now to Jesus’ which came across very inspirational.

As the night went on Phillipa told her story of how she grew up watching Songs of Praise, but it was only later on that she gave her life to Jesus.

After standing, sitting, singing, stopping and starting again numerous times throughout the evening, by 9:30 pm it was time for the recording to end. It seemed like people didn’t realise the lateness of the hour because they were having such a great time.

The Songs of Praise production team gave thanks to everybody for coming. Overall it was a night to remember for a very long time and especially for Lynn and Liseli who ably represented the Adventist Church in the congregation.

[Liseli Lael Samwinga (14)]

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