Concerts that keep Bellshill church in touch with worshippers and wider world will continue

A smash-hit online concert which has reached the milestone of its Diamond Anniversary after 60 weekly recitals took place during lockdown could be set to continue on a monthly basis once restrictions have eased.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 2:57 pm
Alan Mathew
Alan Mathew

Bellshill Central Parish Church has attracted audiences from locations as far away as Indonesia, South Africa North America and Australia with the 8pm Wednesday highlight on the YouTube channel that is The Organist Entertains

And 30,000 global music fans have tuned in to date!

At the helm is "maestro" Alan Mahew who has amassed 25 years of being an organist, choir director and director of music - who was searching for a solution to the isolation so many have felt during lockdown at a church which has remained shut during the pandemic.

Alan said: "With churches closing due to COVID-19 and music basically ceasing, this online outlet and outreach has been both a lifeline to me and countless others.

"I found myself with little musical purpose but readjusted to online music and ministry.

"So I have found new purpose and motivation to reach out online to a new "congregation" during Virtual Church with The Organist Entertains.

"We felt people needed to be kept connected to their church building and its surroundings.

"And the milestone 50th Golden Episode had over 500 live viewers!”

The series showcases what is undoubtedly Bellshill's finest pipe organ, an honour that the church at 346 Main Street takes seriously – after refurbishing the 1930-built instrument at a cost of £38,000.

Meanwhile talented Alan will continue to be busy – as well as being its organist, Alan is a board member and trustee of the church.

During lockdown and the physical closure of the central building, he has produced and edited each weekly online service, produced the annual Time to Remember service and complied the Church's magazine - The Lockdown Chronicle. Yet he’s already thinking ahead – and positively -about the future.

He added: "Once our church reopens – and hopefully that will not be too long – the Organist Entertains will still keep going, perhaps not weekly pre-recorded episodes but moving to a monthly online broadcast.