1912 was the year of the launch and demise of the mighty liner ’Titanic’; it was also the year that The Cumberland and Westmorland Gospel Tent was launched. The tent work was the vision of two businessmen for the evangelism of these two English counties. The spiritual needs of this area were laid on the hearts of John Laing (later Sir John Laing ) and David Beattie. Various evangelists were tasked with developing the village work in the tent – a work which continued through both World Wars. In 1947 a motor caravan was procured, and, in 1948 brother John Knight was called and commended to work.
In 1966 a small radio station was opened in Douglas, Isle of Man, and broadcasting time was purchased. At this time John and his wife Miriam seized the opportunity to begin broadcasting to Cumbria. Means were provided to enable a small radio studio to be equipped to prepare gospel programmes and so the work of Radio Outreach began and developed in a way which no one anticipated. Through an American agent hearing the programmes, a world-wide door was opened for the station to broadcast the gospel to a much wider audience. In addition to broadcasting locally through Manx Radio, Radio Outreach has been able to transmit the gospel from Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Hong Kong, Arab World Radio, Malawi, Jordan, Nigeria, Swaziland, Trinidad, Cayman Islands, World Radio New Orleans, Radio Luxembourg, Glasgow, Radio Thamesmead London, FM radio Stornoway, Dallas and Houston.
The world of technology moves swiftly but through the Lord’s provision, Radio Outreach has been able to keep pace. All recording is now fully digital and we have a main internet station – Offshoremusicradio. We are most grateful to Christian professionals in the industry for their expert help and advice. Support has been forthcoming from Bracknell, Chandlers Ford, Staveley, Penrith and the fully equipped digital studio at the Gospel Hall in Bowness, Windermere.
At the beginning of 2009 brother John Knight was called home and the work was continued faithfully for twelve months by brother David Locke, a full-time evangelist from Workington. David also has since been called home. The station now has a new presenter – Bill Coates. Bill was born in Prestatyn, but since his family were originally from the Keswick area, family holidays were spent in Cumbria and Bill’s love of the area and its people began at an early age. He was saved as a teenager and since 1972 has lived and worked in the Lake District. In 2004 Bill was asked to become a trustee of Radio Outreach and in 2009, following the homecall of David Locke, he began to present the weekly programmes.
And so the work continues, a work which started over forty years ago and has been brought into the 21st century by a dedicated team of people with a burden for the spread of the gospel, not just to the people of Cumbria but world-wide. A recent BBC survey estimated listener numbers of around 100,000 per week world-wide.
To listen to Radio Outreach requires a computer or internet radio and a broadband connection. Use the links on the LISTEN page at www.radiooutreach.org.uk to hear the half-hour programmes at the locations and times listed below:
Thursday 2.00am and 11.00pm
Radio Outreach PO Box 102 Windermere LA23 9AD is a registered charity number 254212
For further information visit www.radiooutreach.org.uk