[Source: Northampton Chronicle & Echo Published: Monday, 7 September, 1998]
Upbeat service is a big winner for teenagers.
It might not be what the traditional churchgoer wants, but for more than 600 people an alternative Northampton church service is an answer to their prayers. The weekly Heart service at Spinney Hill Theatre, off the Kettering Road, has become increasingly popular with teenagers throughout the county since its launch last year.
Billed as a ‘techno Christian evening of live music, friendship, faith, life and worship’, the congregation have the chance to dance and clap their way through some upbeat religious anthems.
The service also has a smattering of more conventional hymns to keep the traditionalists happy, but it is firmly aimed at attracting a younger audience to God, according to organisers at the modern Jesus army.
Spokesman John Campbell said: “Our starting point is accepting all sorts of people. They often think they have to get themselves sorted out before they come to Church, and this is one way for them to do that.
“It’s aimed at being a friendly evening, and while it is aimed at younger people we do get all ages coming along.”
Two bands, called Alpha and Beta, perform each week and there is also a short sermon before the congregation has the chance to chat and have time for individual prayer.
Speaking from the modern Jesus army’s headquarters in Nether Heyford, Mr Campbell said: ” We are the second biggest attraction in Northampton on a Sunday night. The first is Beacon Bingo — but we are trying to change that!”