SA Worship magazine is a cooperative project that has contributors from around The Salvation Army World. If you would like more information on how you can contribute, Please write to your local Territorial Worship Representative.

Editor: Simon Gough - Canada And Bermuda Territory 

Music Type Setting: Nik King - United Kingdom and  Republic of Ireland Territory

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The Regent Hall Worship Team

London United Kingdom and Ireland Territory

By Karl Westwood

Out of the Rink

and onto the streets

Over the years, their brass band has led thousands of marches and open-air meetings, showing countless people in London’s West-End who Jesus is. Suffice to say, Regent Hall Corps has an incredibly rich history of taking God to the streets. It is an invaluable witness, and speaking on behalf of the younger generations at Regent Hall, or ‘The Rink’ as it is affectionately known, we are so grateful for the faithful service given by so many committed Salvationists past and present.

Good Friday is an especially significant opportunity to share the Gospel. Every year, most of Regent Hall’s congregation march to Piccadilly Circus and hold an open-air meeting in one of London’s most iconic locations. Hundreds of people crowd around the band in the shadow of the large 780m2, 4K screen. This year, for the first time, it was suggested by our Corps Sergeant Major that the worship band take part in the open-air. Despite the logistical nightmare of transporting all of our equipment across the busiest shopping district in Europe, we eventually managed,

with help from Uber, to set up in time for the rest of the Corps to arrive, even getting a chance to give the gathering crowd a snippet of a song to grab their attention. 

 

Since then, and with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received, we’ve been going out every Sunday into Oxford Circus and getting an amazing response. With the help of a caravan battery and inverter, we are able to power all of our equipment. In the space of three weeks, we have had eight new people through the doors to our church worshipping with us on a Sunday. I consider our playing outside near Oxford Circus as part of our church, extending our congregation to hundreds.

Single buskers are common in London, but buskers with two guitars, bass, keys, drums and three vocalists are more of a rarity. The unique sound that the group has developed over the past few years, mixed with their fiery passion and love of God, is what stops passers-by. We have members of the public singing along, children dancing, school groups taking videos and double decker red London buses slowing down as they pass by. This ministry is truly alive and God is blessing every minute of it. A beautiful moment we have each week is when the corps’ brass band marches past us on the way to their own open-air: both musical sections working together in harmony. Playing to our outside congregation is a moment we look forward to each week and we prove that our God is a vibrant, exciting, and fun God. God is anointing this ministry. If you have a group at your church, and you’re not doing this, find a way to make it happen. You won’t regret it.

But how did they do it?

Like me you might be really excited about the opportunity to get your worship team off your church platform and on to the streets to share the message of Jesus love. 

All that enthusiasm and excitement can stop at the logistical stage though. How do you take a group that requires electricity to run amplifiers, keyboards, speakers, microphones and more to any spot that is available. The strength of groups like a brass band are that they can pick up and play anywhere. This is a huge limitation for worship teams who are trying to engage in outreach ministry.

 

Well the team from Regent Hall has a solution for that.

Brian Pomering, a member of the Regent Hall Worship Team, sheared this recently with an online group:

The battery was actually a caravan battery. They have lots of juice. My current view is you can power full rig of 4 or 5 amps for several hours on a full charge. We have done at least 3 30 min sets on same charge so far. 

The inverter I think is 2000w per hour. This is key as it determines how much power you are generating (how many amps you can run through it). Eg my bass amp is 300 watts etc. So the higher the inverter the more amps. 

We are using a standalone portable amp for vocals at the moment. However if you had a good portable PA system you could put most through that with this system. (Guitars still sound best through a valve amp though). If using a sound system, we have a behringer xr18 stage box mixed. Great bit of kit, small, light weight, full effects built in and iPad controlled.