How does God guide an insurance salesman, self-confessed worrier and part time radio commentator to start what would become one of the largest Christian radio stations in the world?

Do join us on the first of three conversations with Peter Kerridge, CEO of what has become Premier Christian Communications, Europe’s largest Christian multimedia group. It works with a wide range of Christian churches and organisations across the UK through radio, Internet, video and magazine platforms. Its mission is to help the UK by enabling people to put their faith at the heart of daily life and to bring Christ to their communities.

It is an impressive vision, but what is even more impressive is how over 25 years that vision has been implemented and brought to life.

Peter’s leadership has been a pivotal factor in getting the vision off the ground to become reality and then to grow and develop in a sustainable way over more than two decades.

As the UK’s largest Christian media organisation its reach is significant. In 2019 (before the impact of COVID which will have dramatically increased even these figures), there have been:
– over 8 million website visits per year
– 6.6 million YouTube video views in 2018
– over 1.5 million tune into Premier Christian radio programmes every week
– over 1.2 million calls are received each year into Premier Lifeline, the National Christian Helpline
– 560,000 copies of Christianity magazine, Voice of Hope and Premier Hope and Premier Youth and Children’s Work were published in 2019.

2020 has been a challenging year for us all, but it is also remarkable as the 25th year anniversary of Premier Christian Radio.

Peter is married to Karen, has two sons and enjoys reading, following Newcastle United football club and sleeping!

On this podcast we delve into Peter’s life including:

  • Coming to faith as a 7 year old boy
  • Learning about being a football commentator
  • Working as an insurance salesmen and night club DJ
  • Resisting the call to full time Christian work, but also experiencing the clear guidance of God
  • Going to Oxford University to study theology and training for the baptist ministry
  • Becoming associate minister at Avenue Baptist Church in Southend-on-Sea while at the same time doing freelance presenting at Essex Radio Station
  • Peter’s ongoing fascination with radio programmes as a way of bringing spiritual truth and encouragement to others.

We also explore Peter’s growing vision for a Christian radio station at a time in the mid 1980s when the mainstream media was beginning to sideline and ignore religious programming. This was at a time when there were only four main TV stations and as many as 16 million people watched religious programmes. Peter discusses:

  • Campaigning during 1989 for the law to change to allow a Christian radio station
  • The lonely journey this was with very few within the church having a vision for the potential
  • How when a proposed change in the law was debated it was opposed by every bishop in the House of Lords
  • The 1990 Broadcasting Act allowing specialist radio and TV licenses for niche areas, including pornography
  • The launch of Christian radio in 1995 with no money, no church leadership support, no clear management structure and no identifiable presenters
  • A very different form of technology to contend with at the time and Premier being given the worst frequency and lowest reach of any radio station
  • To keep tuned to the radio station at the time you would need to keep changing the medium wave channel as you drove around the M25 that circles London!
  • Keeping the business sustainable over 25 years with every year presenting financial challenges.
  • Peter’s vision of using radio to meet the spiritual needs of the vast majority of the UK population who would be unlikely to ever enter a church, as well as the 90% of those who went to church but also confessed to not having an inner devotional life.

Peter’s commitment, obedience and faithfulness to his calling is truly remarkable.

The podcast is below or can be accessed at Making Sense of Life on iTunes

After you have listened  do let me know by telling me what you found helpful or inspiring or any feedback you have. 

The Premier website is here