Angie Lendon: Passionate worship from God's "hidden city"

Friday 15th August 2008

Tony Cummings quizzed Hull-based worship leader ANGIE LENDON about her growing music ministry

Angie Lendon
Angie Lendon

The release of the 'From Hull With Love' album by Angie Lendon earlier this year puts the spotlight on a talented worship leader and singer/songwriter. It also brings to people's attention the Yorkshire city of Hull and more specifically the increasingly well known New Life Church where Angie ministers alongside renowned pastor and singer/songwriter Jarrod Cooper. Angie acknowledges that Cross Rhythms had something to do with the naming of her latest album. She says, "I sent a press release [to Cross Rhythms about recording the album and 'From Hull With Love'] was the headline they gave the news story. It grew on me. We'd just gone through the floods earlier in the year and I wanted to let the world know that we were doing fine and that God had great plans for this city. Hull is an awesome place that has had much bad press but I love the fact that God takes the foolish things of the world to confound the wise."

Angie was actually born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, the younger of two children. She recalls, "My parents weren't Christians but they sent me to Sunday school every Sunday where I was introduced to the Bible and the wonderful stories of Jesus. My parents looked after old people so we moved around the country quite a lot which meant I went to many secondary schools resulting in poor exam results. I sang in church choirs as I got older and developed a love for singing. I spent many hours singing into the hairbrush in front of the mirror dreaming I would one day sing for a living. My debut came at the age of 17 when I was invited to sing with a band. No one knew that I could sing - I got up on stage and all the practicing paid off!"

Angie did quite a lot of singing, mostly in the London and Essex area where she ended up living. She remembers, "! I loved it but I was always so nervous and had one position that I stood in. I never moved! When I moved to LA I sang at the Bla Bla Café, a club that Keith Green used to play in the late '70s. It was all a good experience and training ground."

It was in Los Angeles in 1985 that Angie became a Christian. She explains, "I had moved there to further my singing career and in the process met my husband. It was whilst we were preparing for our wedding that we got saved together. I'd long since given up singing as I was disillusioned with the whole music business thing." It was to be many years later, in 1998, that Angie found herself leading worship in a small congregation in the Yorkshire Wolds. She says, "I had always said I would never sing again unless God wanted me to. I began to sense a resurrection of that desire but I wanted to be sure it was God and not me so I didn't rush into anything. I'd gone to a conference one particular weekend and God spoke to me in a prophetic word very directly about leading me step by step as I'd prayed that I had no idea where to start. The rest just unfolded in time."

Angie Lendon: Passionate worship from God's "hidden city"

By 2000 Angie was invited to join the worship team at Synergy, the youth culture offshoot of the Grapevine event in Lincolnshire. The following year she was leading worship at Synergy, providing backing vocals for Godfrey Birtill at The Call and singing as part of the vocal group on the mainstage at Grapevine. In 2004 Angie released her debut album, 'Honesty'. She enthuses, "Recording 'Honesty' was the fruition of a dream. In 2001 my husband was made redundant and was out of work for nine months. He'd been given a good redundancy package and that provided the funds for me to record. I'd previously had a song on one of the 'Re-leased' CDs recorded by dB Studios in Lincoln. It was here that I met the producers Dan Bowater and Howard Williams. I was also on the Worship Academy course so Chris (Bowater) was a real encouragement to me in pursuing my dreams. My favourite song on 'Honesty' has to be 'My Prayer'. It was a very simple song that I'd written in my car as I was praying for my friends and family who weren't saved. I thought it would be a very simple arrangement on the album but when Howard showed me what he intended to do with it I was blown away. It really captures the heart of the song! It was a wonderful time recording it."

Four years is quite a long time between albums. Angie explains why the gap was so long. "Two reasons really. The first was after 'Honesty' we moved to New Life and spent some time settling in and finding our place. The other was purely financial. I prayed for the green light and got it last December. The recording for 'From Hull With Love' was a wonderful experience. Jarrod (Cooper) introduced me to Andy Green who produced Jarrod's 'King Of Kings Majesty' album. We clicked straight way. Andy and his wife Wendy are not just technically excellent but they have that prophetic edge which I wanted more of on this project. He knew where I was coming from and the arrangements were amazing, leaving me space to worship spontaneously. We recorded it over a period of three months using Andy and Wendy, Dan Wheeler, my friend Agnes and myself."

One of the outstanding songs on the album is "Worthy Are You Lord". Says Angie, "I wrote this last year in the summer. I'd decided to take a year off from Grapevine as it's so easy to become so used to the platform that you forget what it's like to receive.
I also felt that I needed to lay some things down and was thinking and praying this through when this song came. It took a while to write and I think I re-wrote the chorus three times! This song seems to break something when we sing it at New Life. Incidentally this song was picked up for Grapevine this year!"

Another outstanding song is "Thy Kingdom Come". Comments Angie, "This is the song I wrote for Hull! It came out of an intercessory prayer meeting. It's just a cry from the heart for God to move here in my city. We recorded the gospel choir here at New Life. They came and joined with our choir and it was an incredible evening. They all went off into separate rooms to practise their parts and then came back together and when they sang it sent shivers down the spine. Very moving and powerful!"

A tour is now being planned for Angie in the autumn. Dates in Wales and Brighton have already been confirmed. Angie's dream is to develop a full time ministry. She says, "I'd love nothing more than to have the time to be more focussed and to be connecting with people. I am a pastor at New Life too and being available is an important part of that. I want to continue to teach and train worship teams and to be growing in my writing. To be really close to God's heart, to hear his heart for my life, his church and his Kingdom. My biggest dream though is to see the KC stadium here in Hull full to overflowing with people worshipping Jesus as they realise that this isn't the forgotten city, it has been God's hidden city!" CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Tony Cummings
Tony CummingsTony Cummings is the music editor for Cross Rhythms website and attends Grace Church in Stoke-on-Trent.


Reader Comments

Posted by Tina Sexton in Brighton @ 16:39 on Sep 2 2008

Our Church in Brighton is very much looking forward to seeing and hearing Angie sing. I have the greatest of pleasures of knowing Angie personally through New Life Church and she is an awesome inspiration to myself and my daughter especially who is encouraged by Angie to continue practicing her singing. A Truely blessed lady with a heart for God..

Posted by Mark Grove in Cornwall @ 08:17 on Aug 18 2008

I really enjoyed your feature on Angie , her music is very annointed and God is really using her ministry in big ways , for his Glory.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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