Manchester Inspirational Voices

Manchester’s Gospel choir with an international reputation, and a heart to share the good news of Jesus.

Listen to the Faith in Manchester podcast with Manchester Inspirational Voices and Wayne Ellington on Anchor. Subscribe on your chosen podcast provider.

Listen to the MIV podcast on Spotify

Manchester Inspirational Voices, known to its friends as MIV, started as a small group in an arts centre in Hulme and has grown to be one of the most respected community choirs in Britain. Up to a hundred singers from all backgrounds join each week to hone their skills and prepare to entertain and minister to eager audiences.

The choir founder and director is Wayne Ellington, a music graduate, performer and vocal coach. He’s performed the songs of Nat King Cole, he appeared in The Voice on national television and he was part of The Kingdom Choir at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

In 2016 Manchester Inspirational Voices were crowned Gospel Choir of the Year in the BBC Songs of Praise search for the nation’s best gospel choir. Since then the choir have been in demand at events across the region, nationally and internationally. The choir regularly visits Germany and Poland and are planning their first foray outside Europe with a tour of Japan in 2020.

Not everyone in the choir has a personal Christian faith, but for all the choir members there is an inspirational element to what they perform, and for many the choir is viewed as a Christian ministry – serving one another as family and serving Christ through music that proclaims Christian truth.

MIV in rehearsal

Tickets are now on sale for MIV’s Christmas concert at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on December 16th 2019, where the guest soloist is Manchester’s JP Cooper. Tickets are expected to sell quickly. Don’t miss out – an MIV concert is more than good night, it’s an experience and a blessing.

Embassy bus homeless shelter

“God wants you to know that you’re valuable to Him”

In Episode 5 of the Faith in Manchester podcast we meet Sid Williams, who has moved from running the Eden bus ministry of The Message Trust to running his own homeless shelter on the Embassy bus.

The Embassy bus is a former luxury tour bus used by bands such as Snow Patrol and Coldplay, now adapted as a temporary base for homeless men in Manchester. Sid Williams says he had a clear call from God through a picture he received to serve young people and them to serve homeless people. So leaving a career in graphic design he moved to Harpurhey to work with local young people, and is now seeking to serve homeless men across Manchester.

Sid Williams of Embassy Bus

Sid Williams is full of stories of the people the bus has helped in the few months it has been operating. One is the ex-soldier with PTSD who has been helped into a home and a job. Another is the man who had lost touch with his mother after he had been in prison, but after prayer for the family his mother called him and sought a reconciliation.

Sid says it’s important the bus has comfortable features and proper heating. He says the quality of the bus speaks of the dignity that it offers homeless people. And the bus also helps volunteers grow in faith and in confidence as well as allowing people to spend time with the poor. The bus ministry is called Embassy because they are ambassadors of Christ and offer a place of safety and refuge.

The Embassy bus work is always looking for new volunteers from among the Christian community in the Manchester area. If you’d like to get involved or to find out more, go to http:/embassybus.org .

Embassy Bus

Hear more about the Embassy bus ministry in our interview with Sid Williams in the Faith in Manchester Podcast Episode 5

Manchester Street Pastors

“Getting someone into a taxi, before they end up in an ambulance”

Manchester Street Pastors are the presence of the Christian Church in the night-time economy of Manchester, serving in multiple locations across Greater Manchester as well as the City Centre.

In their blue uniforms, Street Pastors provide practical help to support people out on the streets at night, and someone to talk to. A night’s duty many involve giving a pair of flip-flops to a woman with a broken heel, giving directions to the train station to a lost visitor, or hearing the story of a broken heart.

Paul Keeble came to Manchester from Northern Ireland in 1978, and he was involved in setting up Street Pastors in Manchester in 2004, following the lead of the first Street Pastors founded in London by Les Isaac.

Paul Keeble speaking at CRE North

Paul said that people love to see the Street Pastors on the streets. He told Faith in Manchester, “People appreciate the fact that we’re there. Every time I go out with the team somebody… will say “thank you for being here”.” Paul, a part of Brunswick Parish Church, says the Street Pastors are motivated by their love of God and wanting to share it in practical ways, and also “to try to put across an image of Christianity and of Jesus which isn’t the one people will pick up from the media”.

Paul Keeble says Street Pastors is a simple act of “being there to care” and meeting the needs of the whole person, responding to people as Jesus did.

Street Pastors is now active in Manchester City Centre, North Manchester, South Manchester, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stalybridge and Stockport, Volunteers are welcome in any of these teams or to start new teams in other areas.

Hear more about Manchester Street Pastors in our interview with Paul Keeble in the Faith in Manchester Podcast Episode 5

Dana opens CRE Manchester

Dana opening CRE with CRE owner Stephen Goddard

Singer and former politician Dana, now appearing in the BBC programme Pilgrimage, opened the Christian Resources Exhibition on its return to Manchester.

In the opening ceremony children from St Leonard’s Primary School, Padiham, sang a re-written version of Dana’s 1970 Eurovision song, “All Kinds of Everything”. Dana welcomed a large crowd to the Exhibition and said it was a place she loved to visit.

Dana spoke to us at Faith in Manchester for an episode of our podcast. She told us about taking part in the BBC series Pilgrimage and opportunites to witness to her faith in words and actions on the walk to Rome.

Dana also spoke to Wayne Clarke about her singing career and the new commercial album she is currently recording in Italy. We also asked her about Brexit and as a former Independent Member of the European Parliament she has strong opinions about the removal of Christianity from Europe.

Dana delievering a seminar at CRE

The Christian Resources Exhibition was well attended, with more than 400 churches represented and included stands from 150 exhibitors and more than 30 seminars covering areas like cyber security and safeguarding in church.