Local listeners and supporters of Premier Christian Radio packed out the music room of Norwich’s Assembly House to hear DJ John Pantry sing and talk about the radio’s plans for growth.
By Helen Baldry
The purpose of the reception on June 26 was to bring the radio station outside of London for the presenters to meet local listeners and to enthuse local people about Christian broadcasting.
National Development Director Ian Robertson
said that radio can reach the parts that other media cannot reach. Premier has been on the airwaves for 19 years. Starting off broadcasting in London on Medium Wave, Premier is now available on digital radio throughout the UK, including Northern Ireland to half a million listeners. Ian said, “We broadcast to anyone who will tune in to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Chris and Marina Carter
from Mulbarton spoke about the impact on Christian broadcasting. Marina said, “I love Christian teaching on the radio. I’ve found it a real help to listen to Christian radio during difficult times such as 9/11 and Dunblane... it is absolutely amazing to listen to people praying on the radio.”
Most people think Premier is just a radio station, but Ian spoke about the Premier’s other initiatives including Lifeline
, a confidential telephone helpline offering a listening ear along with emotional and spiritual support from a Christian perspective. Lifeline receives around 50,000 calls a year. Premier also produces devotional materials and a number of magazines.
Premier has ambitions to be a strong Christian voice in the UK and does not shy away from tackling difficult issues such as the growing number of people with serious mental health problems and how the church can respond to this. They also campaign to help people with disabilities find church an accessible and welcoming place to be.
Presenter John Pantry, who is also an ordained minister and singer songwriter, spoke about some of the high profile people who have been on his breakfast show, including David Suchet, Miranda Hart, Liam Neeson, Frank Field MP, Martin Sheen
and Tim Vine
. The audience enjoyed John’s singing, including the well known Wonderful Grace
, which he penned himself in 1990.
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of Premier. A regional event for East Anglia is planned for Norwich and it is hoped that Norfolk news, events and comments will be increasingly featured on Premier.
Premier Radio’s Inspirational Breakfast Show was broadcast live from St Thomas Church in Norwich on Friday June 27. Tune in on Freeview 725.
Pictured above: John Pantry and below John with Ian Robertson