Religion played a big part in my life when I was growing up, both my parents were devout (and my mum still is) Christians. I remember them passionately praying for Gods protection and guidance during tough times, and giving thanks during good times. What I’ve always struggled to comprehend was my parents unerring faith. Sometimes it frustrated me, because I felt God was never there to help them when they really needed it. Yet they never lost faith, as long as Christianity was in their lives they were happy. This made me wonder about the worlds relationship with religion, particularly in Africa, where the rapid growth of the Abrahamic religions is a relatively new phenomena.
So when Channel 4 and Waddell media, asked me to front a half hour documentary called A very British mission. Asking why West African churches are bucking the trend and growing rapidly, whilst Anglican churches are slowly loosing members, I was really up for doing it. Over the last month I’ve discovered London’s bible belt, 150 new churches opened along this stretch in 2013 alone. I met a pastor who sings like Alexander O’Neal, and dances like James Brown, whilst preaching the word of God to hundreds of members of his congregation in Woolwich south east London. I challenged him on the idea of miracles, and healing, as well as discovering the secret of his Church’s success. The biggest surprise came when I traveled to a new church in Croydon, that has managed to attract a young congregation. Teenagers and young adults who once found themselves on the wrong side of the Law are turning to the pentecostal form of Christianity, and now find themselves on the right side of the Lord.
It was a fascinating and fun film to make, I was given incredible access into a world that I’ve always found interesting but until now have never really understood.
A very British Mission will be on Channel 4 Friday 4th of April at 7:30pm.