Matt Redman: Live the song

Matt Redman

"Good evening everyone are you ready to make this a place of praise tonight?" Matt Redman shouted as thousands gathered on Saturday evening for the final night of the Big Church Night In Tour in Camberwell, London.

The Grammy award winning songwriter led the congregation in singing Our God before quoting AW Tozer's words that "the people of God have always been a little bit noisy".

The crowd responded with a cheer and Matt's all-American band launched into the infectious and chirpy Sing And Shout – the first track off Matt's latest album Your Grace Finds Me.

Here For You quickly followed before the worship leader, who recently turned 40, said, "We want you guys to enjoy the music ... but our deepest prayer is you would walk away tonight with something deep inside you with hope ... just knowing a deeper connection with God tonight."

As the tour hit secular venues including Portsmouth's Guildhall earlier last week passers by had asked - much to everybody's amusement - "Who is Matt Redman? Is he a comedian?"

But perhaps they were half right as Redman told his London audience, "It's really very nice of you to come out on a Saturday night when you could be watching The Voice or something."

And after introducing his band "all the way from America" he remarked "you've got to feel sorry for these people, they don't even have a Queen".

Matt had apparently been trying to teach his band about "all things English" by playing Top Gear on the tour bus, and playing them "the entire back catalogue of One Direction".

With the joking put firmly to one side, Matt introduced Christy Nockels to the stage. The Texas born worship leader began with Waiting Here For You before moving onto Healing Is In Your Hands and, much to the obvious delight of many gathered, Hillsong United's Oceans.

Nockels said she'd had the "most incredible week" touring the UK for first time and commented on how encouraging it was to see the Church come together. The mother of three also explained how touring and making records were "secondary things" after being a mum.

Christy ended her set with new song Let It Be Jesus which contains the lyrics "For me to live is Christ / God I breathe your name / Above everything / Let it be / Let it be Jesus".

Next, speaking through a pre-recorded video, Beth Redman introduced the A21 Campaign – a charity that fights human trafficking and slavery around the world. The crowd were invited to visit the organisation's website to look at 21 ways to help abolish injustice in the 21st century. "None of us can change everything but all of us can do something," Beth said.

After a short interval Matt's band burst back into life with Blessed Be Your Name and You Never Let Go. It was amusing to watch teenagers fill their faces with popcorn bought in the interval whilst trying to hit the high notes.

But it was Christy Nockel's voice that really stole the show. Revelation Song and One Thing Remains were belted out with fiery passion before Matt raised the tempo with We Are The Free and Dancing Generation.

"Worship without change is just a game," Matt cautioned before remarking, "We're going to complete our song by going out there and living it."

These words, complete with the two final songs of the night, Benediction and 10,000 Reasons rounded off a remarkable evening. But this tour was just a small taste of what delegates can expect at the main event - The Big Church Day Out. Tickets are on sale for the May 24-25 festival at bigchurchdayout.com

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