As the future of Christian radio in Britain hangs in the balance, the Christian Broadcasting Council (CBC) is making final preparations for its biggest ever conference - and the first to be televised. The conference will explore the media opportunities available to churches and is set in the context of the battle now raging for Christian broadcasting. London-based Premier Radio is campaigning to renew its licence and United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) has been flatly denied the right even to apply for a licence to broadcast nationally. Yet at the same time, many new media avenues are opening up to Christians. A record number of delegates is expected at this year's CBC conference, whose theme is to help churches rediscover their voice in the media. CBC Chairman Olave Snelling says: 'This is a crucial time for the UK. There is a growing awareness that our nation is in deep spiritual and social turmoil. Yet the Christian Church is losing its voice and struggles to be fairly represented in the mainstream media. 'The CBC conference will highlight ways to press for change and will explore the many exciting new opportunities available to Christian broadcasters.' A major thrust of the conference will be the campaign by UCB to set up a Christian radio station for the whole of the UK - a right denied by present legislation, which astonishingly bans Christians from running a national radio network. Speakers will include UCB's Gareth Littler and Ian Mackie and Premier Radio's David Heron. Transworld Radio, Cross Rhythms and HCJB will also be represented. And from TV, Rory and Wendy Alec will be outlining the new world of satellite broadcasting opening up to the God Digital channel. This year's conference will also have a transatlantic flavour, with the appearance of Ted Baehr of Movieworld USA, a seasoned campaigner for Christian standards in the media. Other major speakers will include Baroness Young, Gerald Coates of Pioneer and Joel Edwards of the Evangelical Alliance. For the first time, this year's annual awards ceremony to honour excellence in Christian programming will be televised by God Digital. The CBC conference takes place on Friday and Saturday September 14 and 15 in Stoke-on-Trent. For further details, contact CBC Secretary, David Rose at: CBC Ltd, PO Box 1110, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs ST4 8JR.
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