Renewal Worship Encounters celebrates 10 years of inter-cultural worship

2-3 February 2018 marks 10 years of Renewal, an annual event run by Kingdom Worship Movement at City Gates church in Ilford. Renewal is a multicultural worship encounter which brings together Christians from a wide range of traditions and denominations, as well as worship leaders from across the globe. The theme of Renewal 2018 is ‘Revived’. Worship leaders taking part in the event include USA-based BJ Putnam, Lou Fellingham, Pastor Dave Daniel, The Lithuanian Worship Team, Jake Isaac, Helen Yousaf, Rony Padilla, Graham Kendrick, Remi Odemesi, Diana Hamilton, Jacy Mai and Sam Blake. Speakers include Lara Martin, John Glass, Mark Beswick and Madeleine Kerzner.

As Noel Robinson, worship leader and founder of Renewal, explains, ‘the primary focus of our events is the gathering of God’s people of every tribe and tongue in worship! Our vision is to see revival spreading through the British Isles and Europe, and to see personal revival stirred in the hearts of all who attend as we equip worshippers through training and empowerment.’

Noel Robinson has been leading worship for 30 years and was the first British worship leader of African Caribbean heritage to be signed to Integrity Music. His family were originally from Jamaica and he grew up in the Pentecostal tradition. Noel trained as a classical musician but felt a strong calling to become a worship leader and to use his music for God. The first UK tour in which he took part, ‘Pray for Revival’, had a huge impact on Noel – for the first time, Noel was in the minority as a black Christian at events where most people attending were white Christians. Questioning why this was, Noel felt a strong call from God to ‘gather the worshippers from all the cultures to get ready for revival’.

Over the last 10 years, Renewal has done just that – bringing together worship leaders from America, Europe and Russia, and from Eastern European churches, Asian-led churches, Caribbean and African churches, Portugese and Spanish speaking churches, and the Quaker tradition among others. Noel believes that inter-culture is the key to renewal and revival in the church today. ‘You will find churches existing on the same road,’ he says, ‘singing the same songs, praying to the same God, but the two will never meet.’ 50,000 – 60,000 people have attended Renewal events over the last 10 years, including venues in Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. Worship leaders who have led sessions at Renewal over the last 10 years have included Matt Redman, Martin Smith and Hillsong. Noel leads worship bi-monthly in the Houses of Parliament, and has led worship in Wembley with J John and at numerous other events including Spring Harvest, Greenbelt, The Big Church Day Out and The National Day of Prayer. He has been featured on God TV, TBN UK, Revelation TV, BBC Songs of Praise and many other programmes and networks around the globe.

Noel’s vision for the future is that Renewal will continue to be a platform for diversity of expression and unity – a place of common ground where relationships can be built across cultural and ethnic divides, as believers worship the same God together. ‘Renewal is an altar to which we all bring our offerings of worship’, he explains, ‘and God will consume and bless them if we are willing to bring them to him.’

Tickets for Renewal 2018 can be purchased from the Kingdom Worship Movement website at £45 per person (£40 early bird offer until the end of January 2018: www.kingdomworshipmovement.com).

Rhoda Hardie

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