Sir Cliff Richard Shares Faith at Crusaders' Centenary
|PIC1|Crusaders, the youth missionary movement, hosted "An Evening with Sir Cliff Richard" recently in Central London to celebrate its centenary.
Alongside Steve Chalke, the President of Crusaders, Sir Cliff shared his personal life and faith, as well as performing a couple of songs from his repertoire.
Sir Cliff shared openly about his early days as a young performer, his big break, his very public conversion to Christ and the significant role played by Crusader leaders in his early Christian journey.
He spoke fondly of his time with Crusaders, of whom Sir Cliff is now Patron, and of the challenges of being a high-profile believer. Then, he bravely fielded questions from the 600-strong audience.
Steve Chalke, the President of Crusaders, fired the questions, encouraging Sir Cliff to share his story in a relaxed, open and very entertaining manner.
The evening was completed in fine style as Sir Cliff Richard performed one of his Gospel numbers ('Faithful One') before singing 'When I Survey The Wondrous Cross' completely unaccompanied.
This special evening represented the final major event of Crusaders Centenary year and helped to build towards the missionary movement's re-brand to 'Urban Saints' in January 2007. After the event, when asked about the change of name, Sir Cliff said "With all the terrible things that go on in our world, maybe it is time for the Saints to appear among the murderers and the drug dealers. The more I think about it the more I realise Urban Saints is the perfect new name for Crusaders."
The evening follows the Crusaders' main centenary celebration at the Royal Albert Hall on 20th May.
The sold-out event was titled 'No Turning Back: The Main Event' and featured music from some of the UK's top Christian bands and performers including Delirious?, yFriday, thebandwithnoname, Blush, The Psalm Drummers, Rob Lacey (Street Bible Theatre Company), Steve Legg, Tommy Baker, Tim Vine and John Archer.
Teenagers, children, and youth leaders hooted and celebrated the occasion with loud screams, cheers, and singing, as thebandwithnoname opened the stage with a dynamic performance, which included dancing and rapping. The rest of the night was filled with more God-glorifying entertainment, including the highly anticipated Delirious? performance.
Matt Summerfield, Crusaders' Executive Director, shared with Christian Today: "For the last 100 years, we've had thousands and thousands of faithful leaders and volunteers that have given so much of their lives to tell hundreds of thousands of young people and children the good news of Jesus.
"And I think this is really something to celebrate. Knowing that those men and women have passed on the baton to us, and expect us to keep doing that for the decades and centuries to come."
As a highlight, Crusaders had announced their new name 'Urban Saints' at the main centenary celebration event. The name will be used from 1 January 2007.
Commenting on the new name, Summerfield said, "The 'Urban Saints' movement is about an inclusive call to a generation of children and young people to live lives of faith, hope, and love through Jesus Christ wherever they are in the world."