There's great news coming from across the pond. Due in large part to the growing interest in Christian and Gospel music, the Official Charts Company will be unveiling the United Kingdom (UK)’s first Official Christian and Gospel Albums chart on Monday, March 11. The burgeoning interest in Christian and Gospel music led to the decision which was announced Tuesday, March 4.
The launch of the new weekly sales-based Top 20 marks the first time that a chart will officially rank the success of Christian and Gospel recording artists in the UK.
The new chart launches in partnership with Compassion UK, an international Christian child development and child advocacy ministry. “Compassion UK are thrilled to be partnering with the launch of the Official Christian And Gospel Albums Chart, we are honored to have many ambassadors for our ministry among Christian music artists in the UK as we work to bring worship and justice together,” said CEO Ian Hamilton in a statement.
According to reports, the U.K.'s 35,000 churches have seen attendance increase by 3% in 2012, which means that 7.6 million adults now attend church each month - 15% of the UK adult population. There is a thriving live Christian music scene in the UK and more than 600 new albums were released last year.
“The popularity of Christian and Gospel music to date has largely been demonstrated through its vibrant live sector, however with the launch of the Official Christian And Gospel Albums Chart we can now, for the first time, shine the spotlight on those artists who are enjoying significant success through recorded music too. We look forward to working with Christian labels and supporting partner Compassion to bring the new chart and its featured talent to music fans of the UK.” Omar Maskatiya, the Official Charts Company’s Director Of Charts said.
“This is a defining moment and changes the landscape for Christian and Gospel music in the UK,” adds Jonathan Brown, Managing Director of Integrity Music, the UK’s biggest Christian and Gospel record label who have supported the development of the chart say on behalf of Christian and Gospel music labels. “Christian music has always been a part of society in bringing hope and encouragement. With the development of this new chart it will bring significant profile to this growing genre.”
The Official Christian and Gospel Albums Chart will be broadcast each week on Christian digital stations Premier Radio and UCB, as well as published weekly at www.officialcharts.com.
To celebrate its launch, the Official Charts Company released the Top 10 biggest selling Christian and Gospel Albums of 2012.
2012 Top Ten
- “Voice From Assisi”- Friar Alessandro
- “10,000 Reasons”-Matt Redman
- “Essential Carols”-King’s College Choir
- “Homemade Worship by Handmade People”-Rend Collective Experiment
- “Cornerstone”-Hillsong Live
- “Carols From King’s College”-Cambridge King’s College Choir
- “The Loft Sessions”-Bethel Music
- “For the Sake of the World”-Bethel Live
- “Carols From King’s”-King’s College Choir
- “Classic Christmas Carols”-King’s College Choir