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Perth church a sanctuary for star performers

Alesha Dixon in Perth.
Alesha Dixon in Perth.

A Perth church has played host to a group of pop stars, with one in particular impressing the minister.

With the main stage of  the city’s Christmas lights switch on only a short walk from the newly-refurbished St Matthew’s on Tay Street, it is seemed the ideal place for a green room for the stars on Saturday.

The Reverend Scott Burton said: “To have East 17, Mud, The Hunna, Boyzlife and Alesha Dixon mixing with our voluntary catering team, our administrator and property convenors was just such fun.

A Perth church has played host to a group of pop stars.St Matthew’s was used as a Green Room as part of the Fair City’s Christmas lights switch on yesterday. Singer and tv talent show judge, Alesha Dixon, East 17, Mud, The Hunna and Boyzlife performed on the main stage outside the front door of the newly refurbished church on Tay Street. Rev Scott Burton and his team of volunteers have worked hard at encouraging the wider community to see St. Matthew’s as a genuinely welcoming space open to all. The church spire was used as a backdrop for laser projection. The new disabled ramp and front door platform was also used as the viewing area for members of the public who use wheelchairs.Mr Burton said: “To have East 17, Mud, The Hunna, Boyzlife and Alesha Dixon mixing with our voluntary catering team, our administrator and property convenors was just such fun.“They all were so very complimentary of the welcoming space and the warm hospitality offered.“Alesha Dixon not only performed live outside the church entrance, but she had a ‘meet and greet’ for over 100 children and young people as part Perth’s preparations for YOYP 2018.”Mr Burton said she spoke so sensitively and wisely about compassion and kindness being important in all our lives.He added that she addressed controversial topics like gender equality, LGBT rights, domestic violence and confidence and self-image for young girls particularly on social media”.Mr Burton said: “To be honest, I’m not sure I could have named any one of Alesha Dixons’s hit songs if anyone had ever asked me. “However, I must say I was quite overwhelmed with how impressive she was in encouraging these young people who came into our church premises and ended up hearing such positive affirmation from a pop-star they clearly thought a lot of.“I’m so proud that we were able to make this happen. “The outreach beyond the church walls is quite, quite remarkable and humbling”.Several Church of Scotland conferences, community concerts, photographic exhibitions and many, many funerals and weddings in St Matthew’s new, flexible sanctuary, as well as busy Sunday services each week.#AleshaDixon#Perth#Britainsgottalent

Posted by Church of Scotland on Sunday, 19 November 2017

“They all were so very complimentary of the welcoming space and the warm hospitality offered.

“Alesha Dixon not only performed live outside the church entrance, but she had a ‘meet and greet’ for over 100 children and young people as part Perth’s preparations for the Year of Young People 2018.”

Mr Burton said she spoke “sensitively and wisely” about compassion and kindness being important in everyone’s lives.

He added that she addressed controversial topics like gender equality, LGBT rights, domestic violence and confidence and self-image for young girls particularly on social media.

“To be honest, I’m not sure I could have named any one of Alesha Dixons’s hit songs if anyone had ever asked me,” said Reverend Burton.

“However, I must say I was quite overwhelmed with how impressive she was in encouraging these young people who came into our church premises and ended up hearing such positive affirmation from a pop star they clearly thought a lot of.

“I’m so proud that we were able to make this happen.”

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