The Message 20: two decades of changed lives

Posted by Les Ellison  ·  Be the first to comment

In twenty years, Andy Hawthorne’s passion for a spiritual renewal, not only in the soul but on the streets, has burst out of inner city Manchester and into the consciousness of a nation with few answers to growing poverty, crime and an all pervading sense of hopelessness.

The other articles of this series are:

In Message 20, World Wide Message Trust founder Andy Hawthorne, opens up the Trust’s untold story. Even before Message flagship band, The Tribe, exploded onto the Christian music scene, Andy had a vision for God-honouring intervention that met the real needs and spoke the real language of young people losing heart and soul in inner city Britain.
With a heart and a vision for the dismal prospects of their deprived inner-city workforce, Message 20 starts with Andy Hawthorne and his brother Simon running a low-end clothing and fashion business. Based in a derelict Manchester church, the brothers looked for a Christ-centred way to turn around the life and lives of this country’s poorest and most crime damaged neighbourhood.

Message 20 tells how a faded Bible text in the church-turned-factory inspired the vision without which all people perish. With the idea of reaching disengaged youth through their own music based culture, they booked the Apollo: Manchester's premier rock venue. For a whole week they packed it every night with the best in Christian bands, speakers and theatre acts.

Reaching out with the gospel to Manchester’s youth took WMMT and the Tribe through the nineties and into the new century. By 2011, the Message’s music outreach and teaching ministries were impacting seriously on the lives of 300,000 young people a year.

The book is a tribute to real impact of The Message Trust. Not just where the bands came, played and moved on, but where dedicated faith-fired young people came and prayed, then lived and stayed on. With the Eden project, young Christians came to the streets where no one chose to live, and chose to live there. Message 20 is a record in words and pictures of the lasting changes achieved by the faith and commitment of those young people.

In schools, prisons and despair ridden communities, The Message Trust continues to bring hope and renewal through ground breaking initiatives including the Eden Bus, Reflex and Genetik. In Message 20 friends and legends of the Trust and its aims – including Matt and Beth Redman, John Sentamu and Nicky Gumble, express their admiration, and prayers for the Trust’s future.

But the best of Message 20 by far, is the collection of 20 personal stories from young people whose lives were given – and continue to receive, new hope and purpose. Told with refreshing honesty, each describes how they were caught and held in God’s vision for their lives when they could so easily have perished.

These 20 stories of restoration and renewal are only a fraction of the number of lives touched by the work of Andy Hawthorne. Looking ever to the future, the book reveals the vision and ambition for what the Message Trust and its dedicated workers will strive in faith to achieve in reality over the next 20 years.

Quick Guide to The Message 20 - Two Decades of Changed Lives

What is it?

  • A full colour celebration in words and pictures of The World Wide Mission Trust (WMMT).
  • The story of the Message Trust, The Tribe and WMMT front bands BlushUK, LZ7 and TWELVE24.
  • Personal stories from 20 years of a musical, social and spiritual revolution and changed lives.

What will it do for me?

  • Open up the story and personalities behind a movement that changes individuals and communities.
  • Give you an inspiring record of what can happen when a few open up to the vision of God for their lives.
  • Connect you, your church or school library with a spiritual revolution that takes Christ to where he’s needed.

Over to You

At you can find a truly interactive Christian community helping you find all you need to live, learn and grow your faith.

The World Wide Message Tribe began from a realisation that the root of the problem was a complete absence of any experience of Christ.

  • How much do you think that’s true of other problems of social and economic deprivation, where do you think the problem lies?
  • If The Message Trust’s Eden project relies on Christian activists living in the community they serve, how would you encourage Christians to become more involved in the community they live in already?

Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips – beautiful, bizarre and brilliant at

13th February

February 13th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison

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