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Joyous Christmas Festival brought dancing to the streets of Redbridge


Children from Redeemed Christian Church of God aka Liberty Church Ilford, performed a stunning Christmas Nativity play live on the town hall steps.       Videos were not taken professionally but were sent to us by attendees at the event.

People could be seen singing and dancing while Redbridge Christmas Festival was live on Ilford Town Hall steps from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday 16th December 2017. At one point an elderly passer-by danced with Christians despite being restricted by a walking stick which was a truly rewarding experience.

The event was organised by several Ilford Churches with the help of the British Pakistani Christian Association after Pastor Andrew Willis championed an attempt to establish closer links between the churches of Ilford.  What was achieved however was beyond anyone's expectations after over 9 churches collaborated to bring the event to the town centre in a wonderful show of unity. Two churches joined forces with the initial group one week before the event and every one of the participating churches contributed financially and with different equipment to make the event a resounding success.

Pastor Andrew Willis, said

"We were all delighted with the result. The nature of Christianity is one of fellowship and love and all the participant churches embraced these Christian virtues with great zeal.

"One church brought a keyboard, one some drums, one contributed a larger amount then the rest to cover a PA system when our first option failed. We all provided fellowship to one another and friendship to the wonderful diverse people of Redbridge.  

"I watched as people not linked to churches danced and clapped with us, such harmony is the goal we all want and if our event in some small way helps reach that goal it will have served its role. It certainly seemed like we achieved something special and I am sure God has His hand in making all this possible."

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

"The great diversity in the churches of Ilford was on full display, we had Christians from a number of origins including Pakistani, Indian, African, West Indian, Iranian, Easter European and Sri Lankan.  Moreover the sheer number of churches involved meant the event had members of nearly every local denomination.

"The performances ranged from local church choirs to established Christian artists such as Noel Robinson an Internationally acclaimed Gospel Singer, Diane Ofori recently under a label and Pakistani Christian rapper Faisal Gill. 

"As a spectacle it was truly a delight to watch and be part of. However, the most powerful thing about the event was the different ways in which the Gospel especially the story of Christ's birth was shared with different groups of Ilford's community that made it relevant to them.  Whether it was the Urdu choir from Ilford Asian Church, modern rap message of Faisal Gill or Children's drama nativity by Liberty Church, people stopped to watch and enjoyed it.  Even the rain could not stop them." 

Shaheen Zar, Leader of Ilford Asian Church, said:

"It was cold and wet outside but nothing could keep our church from performing and sharing the Gospel of Christ on the streets of Ilford - it was spiritually uplifting to be involved. The event was packed with praise, worship and Christian witness and the people of Redbridge will no doubt be blessed by it."

All the participating churches have committed to return again next year for an even bigger event on the 22nd of December 2018, that might even include a Christmas Parade.  There is also Redbridge Easter Parade to look forward to which is held on Easter Monday every year.

Participating churches included:

Capstone Church
Clementswood Baptist Church
Cranbrook Baptist Church
Eden Christian Centre
Gateway Church
Ilford Asian Church
Ilford High Road Baptist Church
Redeemed Christian Church of God (Liberty Church)
St Andrews Church of England Church

He made my mourning into dancing again He lifted my sorrow!

Rev Marie Segal from St Andrews Church

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