Normally it takes a talent-show winner or record industry muscle to shake up the record charts.
But a group of amateur musicians from a Bradford church has managed to do just that with a recording of Christian music.
The success in breaking into the official UK album charts marks a turning point for a section of the music industry which, until now, has been overshadowed, selling its output through churches or Christian bookshops.
Life Church, based at Wapping Road, hit on the idea of getting sales from its Christian bookshops counted towards official sales figures for the album charts.
The strategy worked, with their home-spun recording Dance Again moving into the top 40 at number 38 within days of being released.
A video on the story behind the record, which was inspired by an ME victim’s fight back to health through her religious conviction, has also gone viral, with more than 232,000 viewings on Youtube.
The record was written, performed and produced with no professional help from the music industry. Instead it relied on the talent, musicanship and acumen of church members.
Lead pastor of Life Church UK, Pastor Steve Gambill, said: “For local church musicians, singers and songwriters this is a great achievement, not just for Life Church but also for all the churches in our nation.
“Dance Again expresses what God is doing in our local church in Bradford and our campuses. Our desire is to make God’s great love known to people through songs and music that bring Him glory. We are so grateful for all that Jesus has done, and is doing, in our lives and this album reflects that.”
The church is unlikely to make substantial profits from selling records even when they register in the charts, but the objective is to get the music heard by a wider audience and sung in churches in this country and beyond.
Worship Pastor Jock James added: “I’m so pleased for our worship and production team, who put in so much time and effort to make this album. Our priority is always to build the local church but knowing an album from our church has made the UK top 40 is really special.”
As well as reaching 38 in the mainstream album charts, the record made No1 in the Christian and Gospel charts.