Jesus Festival British-Style

Climaxing a year of spiritual emphasis in Britain called “Land Aflame,” the Nationwide Festival of Light sponsored a London Festival for Jesus last month. The following report came from London correspondents Peter Meadows and David Coomes:

Traditional British reserve shattered last month when thousands of Christian young people joined hands to dance and leap in worship at three open-air events during the five-day London Festival for Jesus. The spontaneous act of worship cut right through denominational barriers—both Catholics and Protestants participated—and united the young people in simple, joyful, reverent praise.

The festival drew several thousand young people to Britain’s capital for teaching and evangelism. Yet even though more than 65,000 people were involved over the five days, press and television gave the Jesus happening only superficial—though sympathetic—mention.

Some observers reportedly were dissatisfied with the festival’s results, but the enthusiasm and creativity of the extravaganza were applauded. Gospel pop concerts, teach-ins, clean-ups, and open-air mass worship caught the eyes and ears of London’s less-than-Christian population. To arouse festival excitement a fleet of text-decorated river steamers carried 2,000 clapping, singing Christians down the Thames, past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, to Tower Bridge.

Each morning other than Sunday, which was geared toward worship, teaching and training sessions were held at churches in the greater London area, with such subjects as “Jesus in my morals,” “Jesus in my marriage,” “Jesus in my church,” and “Jesus in my family.”

The evangelical morality movement, the Nationwide Festival of Light, this year shifted its emphasis to the ...

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