In growing churches in the UK a large number are considering using different expressions of faith in order to reach younger audiences. It is clear that traditional ways of worship do not necessarily inspire younger people and as with any organisation changes have to be made to appeal to people in different times.
Rev Dr James Bruce Transitional Team Rector of the Cartmel Peninsular Team Ministry in Cumbria UK said: “I met Cath and Angus some months at ago at a worship event and realised how good they were, so I asked St Anne’s Church Churchwarden and Events Director David Birchall to look at their style of worship with a view to introducing them to local church members.”
Churchwarden and Events Director David Birchall said: “I looked at their music and their style of worship and found it highly innovative yet gently understated, so I arranged for them to take the December Carol Service at our church. The congregation were spellbound throughout the service. Angus MacGregor’s guitar playing is beautiful, something to behold, and he takes the traditional well loved carols like Silent Night and Once upon a Midnight clear, and creates music you simply have to listen to and soon find yourself so relaxed. Cath Binn’s haunting soprano voice is clear and powerful yet so easy on the ears.
Birchall went on to say: “Our main congregation is fairly traditional in their expectations, but Cath and Angus soon removed any barriers and I’m now being asked ‘when are they coming back? We were quite lucky to get them as their tour had already been laid out to promote their albums ‘Acoustic Christmas’ and ‘Chosen’ and we are glad we did, they were a smash hit producing a lovely spiritual service.”
Birchall Continued, “Cath and Angus have a track record of putting together Christian Services that work and together they co-founded, and lead ‘Saturday Gathering’, a Halifax based fresh expression of church in the UK, primarily for the vulnerable and marginalised. Through their social enterprise, ‘Cath and Angus Music’, they run various creative projects for those who are homeless, ex-offenders, recovering addicts and vulnerable adults and children. They regularly lead worship around the UK, Europe and USA.
For the tour, Angus recorded his second album of Acoustic Christmas 1 and 2 and Cath wrote a number of songs that look at some of the familiar characters of the Christmas story with a fresh perspective.
Birchall explained; “The songs highlight that just as in the Christmas story, each one of us is carrying a divine destiny, and even in the middle of challenging seasons, God is always working everything out for our good and for His glory and faithfulness to be demonstrated on the earth. The song, Little Steps, explores how the donkey carrying Mary, who in the midst of the ordinary and mundane ‘everyday steps’, may not have recognised his significance and the part he’d been chosen to play in carrying the King of kings.
“Like the donkey, many of people may not recognise our own significance and the part we play, yet we too are chosen and loved and through the little steps, a bigger plan is being fulfilled. Despite being considered outcasts and insignificant by society in their time, the Shepherds were chosen to be the first to witness and share the birth of the Saviour of the world. The Encounter explores how God values people who the world very often dismisses. He is also a God of “suddenly’s” – and encourages us that just as everything changed for the shepherds with one sudden encounter with Heaven, so we are to hold on for breakthrough will come.
“The Promise is Mary’s song as she holds her baby. In this Cath reflects that despite receiving a promise from God, the working out of that promise most likely didn’t look like Mary expected. It’s a song, which again, hopes to encourage those of us going through difficult seasons, reminding us God is always at work, even when we might not recognise it or understand. Then, The Message is about the angel, whose assignment was to bring the message of the new born Messiah to the shepherds, the song explores how long the angel had known about it, and how he felt. The song is a celebratory acclamation of hope, recognising what the birth of Christ means for mankind.
“The EP’s final track is from the perspective of Joseph, who, at first, didn’t recognise God’s unfolding plan in the middle of rather messy circumstances. Home tells of the unrivalled power of love.”
In all this Cath and Angus weave a magic story in words and music with excellent vocals and backing, and of course, guitar magic from Angus leaving everyone feeling so warm and blessed.