Religious broadcaster Trinity Broadcasting Network said its newest network, TBN UK, will launch on Jan. 5 on Freeview, the U.K.'s free-to-air digital terrestrial television service that reaches 95% of the television households across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
TBN vice president Matthew Crouch said in a release that the launch of TBN UK represents one of the most significant commitments in the history of the 42-year-old global faith-and-family television group, bringing 24-hour Christian programming to a combined total of approximately 26 million U.K. homes.
“While TBN has been available in the U.K. through cable and satellite, this will be the first time that over 65 million individuals across the British Isles will have access to a broad range of faith-and-family programming 24 hours a day,” Crouch said in the release.
Crouch said the project began almost two years ago when his father, the late TBN founder Paul Crouch Sr., signed an initiative to establish a Christian network in the U.K. That move coincided with the construction of a new TBN London studio (pictured) near famed Wembley Stadium.
TBN UK's channel director, Leon Schoeman, said in the release that while England was once considered the most Christian nation on earth, “over the past decades this nation's faith and commitment to Christian principles has been severely eroded. Today a mere 6% of believers in the U.K. attend church regularly, and for all intents and purposes our culture could be called post-Christian.”
But he said there has been a resurgence of interest in the Christian faith among younger generations, as churches like Holy Trinity Brompton, Hillsong London and others have reached out to that demographic through contemporary music, technology and innovative worship services.
“As we have moved forward with planning and implementing the launch of TBN UK, clergy and Christian leaders throughout the UK have enthusiastically stepped forward to partner in this endeavor and help us ensure our content and programming model a well-rounded and balanced Christian lifestyle to our viewers,” Schoeman said in the release.
Programming will include international ministry programs, family-friendly movies and shows for children and teens, plus music and ministry programming from congregations like Holy Trinity Brompton, London's Jesus House, Hope City Church in Manchester and Hillsong London. British evangelist and author J. John will also host a variety of TBN UK shows.
California-based TBN terms itself the world's largest faith-and-family television group, airing via 85 satellite channels and 20,000 television and cable affiliates.