Joel Edwards to help celebrate 60 years of Christian radio production

The Chair of the Churches Media Council, Joel Edwards will be in Glasgow on Sunday to preach at a service marking GRF Christian Radio's 60th anniversary of continuous radio production.

GRF was established in 1948 originally under the name Gospel Radio Fellowship. Its focus was on producing quality Christian programmes to be broadcast by radio stations around the world, both Christian and mainstream.

GRF's first programme was broadcast on a missionary radio station (HCJB) in Ecuador to meet primarily the spiritual needs of Scots living in South America. When commercial radio hit Britain in 1973, a close relationship grew up between GRF and Glasgow's major mainstream radio station, Radio Clyde, and the relationship between the two stations remains close to this day.

GRF currently supplies programmes to commercial stations across Britain and Ireland, English-speaking overseas stations such as Coastline Radio in Spain, BBC local radio stations, hospital radio, community radio stations and programmes for internet distribution. GRF has supplied programmes to more than 150 radio stations around the world in the 60 years since its inception.

The service of thanksgiving for the Glasgow-based station will be held at the Findlay Memorial Church. On Saturday, GRF will host an open day at its Argyle Street studios where guests and visitors can meet the GRF team, listen to current programmes and view the technical equipment on display.

GRF has a tradition of keeping up-to-date with technical innovation and was one of the first organisations in Scotland to use a tape recorder. In 2000, GRF helped pilot Audiopot, a web-based internet distributor of Christian radio programmes.

The ministry is manned by 20 volunteers from different faith backgrounds.

Reflecting on the last 60 years, GRF Chairman Andrew Barr said, "Spread the word. It's a phenomenon. Very Glasgow and very Edinburgh and very global. The team can mix Radio 5 journalism with the Goon Show and still be faithful. In my comparatively short 40 years of making programmes in the BBC and ITV, I've seen careers destroyed as producers tried to marry humour and religion. And that's this team's secret - if there is laughter in heaven, it will be down to GRF."

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