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Grace Baptist Mission CIO

12 Abbey Close, Abingdon

Oxon, OX14 3JD, UK

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An Audio Boot-Camp

OneHundredFold is a ministry of UFM that uses a range of media platforms to provide ministry resources for use across the world. This summer they ran an Envision team with GBM in Mission centre in Abingdon.

Our radio studios in Mission Centre in Abingdon are one of GBM’s undiscovered treasures. Hidden away below ground level, they have been the engine room of our radio ministry for over forty years. Ian Flanders, Andrew Cook and Derek French use them to record our regular programmes, and you may also find Dan Bryant and me down there, recording interviews for Prayer Waves. However, in July, an Envision team came to take over the whole complex, and all three studios were a hive of activity.


Keith Charlton is a UFM missionary working in partnership with GBM, and the OneHundredFold Envision team was his brainchild. It was a two-week audio ‘boot-camp’, to train volunteers in how to record and edit audio books for circulation through OneHundredFold’s media network.


Four volunteers joined the team, with a range of ages and previous technical experience. During the fortnight, they built their own portable recording kit, with a professional microphone and recorder and an acoustic ‘sound box’ so they can continue their recording and editing when they return home. Keith trained them in the finer points of audio editing, as well as how to use and sustain your voice in a long recording. Each team member then recorded and edited a magazine article as a trial exercise. Having learnt their skills they then embarked on recording an entire book. They only hoped to record the first chapter while the team was together, but the plan is for each of them to work on recording the rest of their book once they get home.


‘Discovering GBM Radio and being a part of the team for a fortnight has been fabulous,’ said Sue Griffiths. ‘I hadn’t realised the scale of the need for audio books in the rest of the world. The process is much more creative than I realised. It really has delivered a double whammy: creating resources and being blessed by what you are reading.’


Derek Fieldhouse does his church audio in Leyton, but even so the team proved quite a learning curve, developing his skills to a new level. ‘Building a prepared environment for recording, and then preparing the reading before recording, was a good challenge. I feel God has given me this to do, given me the skill sets to achieve it, and said “Get on with it!”’    


Dana Obada is a Romanian who now lives in Aylesbury. ‘English is not my first language, but reading English from a script is much easier. At first, I was scared of the recording process, but at a tough time of life the Lord put this on my heart.’


Matthew Colclough has a background in media production, but even so learnt some editing ‘tricks’ he didn’t know. ‘So many Envision teams involve working with children, which isn’t me, so I was delighted when GBM came up with an IT-based team. It’s a great opportunity to use my interest in the media to do something spiritually constructive.’


As team leader, this was a dream fulfilled for Keith. ‘This project has been on my heart for five years. Training a team means we can multiply our output. The team has been fantastic – a variety of skills and voices, and four people was ideal for the space we had. This is the first time we have run this, and I hope we can do it again here, as well as in a church in the United States.’   


Jim Sayers