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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The ECHO give us a write up...


10:30 - 13 December 2005

The X FACTOR took Stow-on-the-Wold by storm.

Youngsters at Stow Baptist Church performed their own take on the hit TV pop talent show, with a serious message, in their own service. They say Christ is the ultimate X Factor in Christmas, something all too easily forgotten as commercialism takes over.

They wanted to promote their new youth group, Safehouse, a forum for youngsters to chill out, play music, share their faith and discuss teenage issues including sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

The service featured about 20 youngsters, mostly from the Cotswold School, Bourton-on-the-Water, Christian rock numbers, giving readings, preaching and helping out backstage.

Versions of X Factor judges Simon Smug Face (alias Simon Cowell), Sharon Sparkle Locks (Sharon Osbourne) and Louis Limp Lids (Louis Walsh) urged viewers to vote for wall-to-wall TVs, bigger presents and more food and drink for Christmas.

But the moral of the tale was that if people cut out the excess they will find the real X Factor.

Ryan Keeble, 18, said: "We're like every other youth group except we have a real desire to spread the word of Jesus."

On guitars, drums and acoustics, they led everyone in songs such as Consuming Fire and My Soul Must Sing, as words flashed up onto a giant screen.

Worshippers clapped, smiled, held their hands out in praise and danced in time to the beat.

Charis Lippett, 14, said: "People have a pre-conceived idea that church is people sitting in pews with long faces.

"But we're not going to be strong unless we can laugh and have fun."

For more information, please call Andrew Lippett on 07725 732240 or go to www.safeh.blogspot.com

"We're like every other youth group except we have a real desire to spread the word of Jesus."

Ryan Keeble