Stoke-on-Trent's Cross Rhythms radio gearing up for 28th February launch

CROSS RHYTHMS City Radio, one of the 15 groups chosen by the UK Radio Authority to pioneer community radio across Britain, is gearing up for a February 28th launch despite still awaiting confirmation of their FM frequency. All 15 groups, originally anticipating they could start broadcasting by January 1st 2002, are now not likely to hear of their allocated frequencies until mid February.

Said Jonathan Bellamy, Cross Rhythms general manager, "This delay pushes us very close to our planned launch date for Cross Rhythms City Radio. Obviously it restricts how much we can publicise this incredible opportunity God has put in our laps, to broadcast a Christian radio station on FM across Stoke-on-Trent, but we recognise that the Radio Authority hasn't been this way before either. The clearance procedures for frequencies is an extremely intricate process and normally takes many months. If there's any delay, it just gives us more time to build with the churches in the city."

As part of the initiative to use Christian media as a bridge between the Church and the community Cross Rhythms has produced a promotional video featuring comments from church leaders across six denominations, plus the feelings of local citizens on what they want to get out of life and what their hardest problems have been. Jonathan added, "It was such a privilege to hear people's stories. One man, dressed as a goth, had just lost both his mother and father and spent Christmas on his own; another young couple had lost a close friend in a motorbike accident and a further friend committed suicide in response to the grief; many people shared of going through cancer and one young man shared his experiences of living on the streets for six years. During the shoot, the Cross Rhythms cameras also captured Friday night footage of a fight on the city centre streets and homeless people sitting in bank doorways. We in the Church must recognise there is phenomenal need in our nation to reach people with the life changing power and love of Jesus. We are the second most godless nation in the world - we are a mission field! At Cross Rhythms we feel City Radio is our opportunity to get that message out, but only as part of a strategy of God that works hand in hand with what he is doing in the local church."

Cross Rhythms City Radio, 'The New Sound On The Street', will be evaluated by the Radio Authority for one year and if successful could pave the way for similar community radio opportunities in future government legislation.

In a further radio initiative Cross Rhythms, for the first time, will be broadcasting live from Spring Harvest in April. Working alongside the youth work at the event, the station will run throughout week three at the Skegness venue and bring live interviews, programmes and teaching.

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.