Chris and Kerry Cole, founders and trustees of the Cross Rhythms media ministry, recently attended the No 10 ‘Christmas Tea’ Celebration at 10 Downing Street hosted by PM Gordon Brown.
This was the second year running that Cross Rhythms had been invited to celebrate Christmas with the PM, and Kerry Cole says she was thrilled to be asked again. “From Cross Rhythms point of view, it is very encouraging that our work with local radio is recognised at the highest levels of government, because we believe that we have something so good to influence our cities with, especially our youth,” said Kerry.
During the event, the Prime Minister spoke to assembled guests about how the practice of Christian values can help improve society: “At the centre of our society,” said Mr Brown, “perhaps more so than any other country I know in Western Europe, is the belief that churches and faith have a role. At the centre of our society is the belief that the legitimate public debate is how we interpret our Christian values and our faiths to make for a better society. At the centre of that is also a sense that families are important. What we can do to support family life in this country is absolutely crucial.”
The Prime Minister went on to say, “…let us not forget that this is a country where the Christian values that were so important over all the centuries are still right at the centre of our national life. Never forget that, when we are reading newspapers or watching television, whatever you see day to day, there are issues far more important than the day-to-day coverage of individual events. They are the basic values that underpin our society.”
The Prime Minister’s emphasis on family values and how they are embodied in the Christian faith resonates with Cross Rhythms. “We started broadcasting contemporary Christian music that reaches our young people with a positive message over 25 years ago,” said Chris Cole, “to hear those values endorsed by the PM was truly encouraging. Cross Rhythms radio stations (in Stoke-on-Trent, Plymouth and Teesside) are run by Christians but they are broadcast for the whole of the community in our cities. The music is excellent quality, with every genre imaginable represented in all its diversity. At the core of all that we do and all that we broadcast is the profound belief that the Christian faith has a tremendous contribution to make to the well-being of our city, and especially our young people, in these troubled times.”
Chris and Kerry Cole are seeing increased recognition on a national stage, and the profile and value of Cross Rhythms is beginning to be recognised at the highest levels. Yet Cross Rhythms started with only a half hour radio show on a local radio station.
Recognition of their pioneering media work was recently acknowledged at the Christian Broadcasting Council Conference, held in Buckinghamshire in late November. CR Founders Chris and Kerry were presented with the prestigious Gold Exploits Award for their pioneering of the Cross Rhythms media ministry.
Upon presentation of the award, CBC Chair Olave Snelling declared: “This CBC Gold Exploits Award is a passionate tribute to the pioneering work of Chris and Kerry Cole. We applaud Cross Rhythms and the magnificent work it does through music and speech, spreading hope in the community and communicating that precious Word of God with power into untold numbers of lives, particularly among young people.”
1) The Cross Rhythms group of FM stations include Cross Rhythms City (Stoke) 101.8FM, Cross Rhythms Plymouth 96.3FM, Cross Rhythms Teesside 107.1FM
2) The Cross Rhythms website, www.crossrhythms.co.uk, receives nearly 900,000 unique users each year
3) Cross Rhythms – Impacting youth and the wider community for good through FM radio, contemporary Christian music and a globally influential website.