Love, Action, Music, Poetry, Stories
Looking for theatre resources for your church to use in a community setting? LAMPS is a new arts collective to consider
Baptist churches have been encouraged to consider a relatively new arts collective as they seek to reach their communities. LAMPS – Love, Action, Music, Poetry, Stories – is a collection of Christian artists whose aim is to create excellent live events and resources for churches.
It was founded by Chris Matthewman in 2014. Chris had been writing, producing and performing for schools, theatre, and church audiences up and down the UK for a number of years when he had a vision for forming a collective of writers, musicians and other arty types who would re-tell stories of faith through performance and modern-day parable.
'Our heart is to offer a bridge between the community and church,' explains Julie Kemp-Harper, who works part-time as LAMPS development manager and is a former BMS World Mission employee. 'The sort of thing we do is pre-evangelism. The shows are not overt, they're fun, and they get people thinking: they're something you can take your family, friends or neighbours to.
'As much as Christians will be blessed, we want them to invite others, too!'
In terms of its theatre events, LAMPS offers two Christmas plays – Babs of Bethlehem and Scrooge – as well as a Passion play, and one featuring stories from the Old Testament. It also has a couple of comedy shows, a music show which explores an ethical lifestyle in an evening of contemporary, original song, and can offer a range of performing arts workshops.
Ock Street Baptist Church in Abingdon is one church to have benefitted from a LAMPS production. Earlier this year it invited LAMPS to perform its Passion play at Easter.
The church’s co-minister Steve Millard was impressed. ‘The Passion play was done with minimal staging and props but with fantastic acting by the three actors you really didn't notice a lack of anything,' he said. 'The rhythmic drumming at certain points and the use of height and changing of accents all meant that it seemed far more than three people were playing the parts.
‘The story maybe very familiar, with the death and Resurrection of Jesus, but it's power and impact was certainly brought vividly to life by this excellent production. It was well attended and we were in for a real treat.
‘I'd highly recommend LAMPS to anyone looking for an excellent evening of thought-provoking entertainment.’
Picture | Actress Emma Ramsden as Mary Magdalen