Some fifteen or so years ago I accompanied my then early teenage son to a World Wide Message Tribe gig at Spring Harvest. we had, somehow, picked up on their music through their early CDs, and having listened to them via recording this was our chance to hear them live. I was very pleased to find I wasn’t the oldest there by any means, but I knew it was highly unlikely that i would hear them in their usual setting among the young people of Manchester.
It took over twenty-four hours for my ears to recover – they were LOUD!!!!! But thye were exciting and communicated their excitement for worshipping God in the young sub-culture of the day. Among their louder and more energetic dance culture pieces were a few more ambient, chill-out numbers, including a version of “There is a green hill” which I used for a Good Friday meditation one year.
Not long after I saw them, they were nominated for an American Dove award, with the promise of a lucrative US recording and touring contract at the end of it. I really admired them for turning the contract down because it would distract from what they saw as their true calling to work among the kids of Manchester in the name of Jesus. They formed The Message Trust and began to expand their work in schools, in clubs and prisons and on the streets of that city – work that continues to this day.
So it was very pleasing to hear the news today that Andy Hawthorne, one of the leading lights of WWMT and the Message Trust, has received recognition for his work in the Queen’s birthday honours list where he has been awarded an OBE for his services to the young people of Manchester. Great recognition for great work.
Congratulations, Andy, and may God continue to bless your work and that of the The Message Trust.