The UK’s first Official Christian & Gospel Albums Chart will be unveiled next week.
The new weekly sales-based Top 20 chart will launch on Monday, March 11 and official rank the success of Christian and Gospel recording artists for the first time in the UK.
The chart will be compiled by the Official Charts Company and launched in partnership with Christian charity Compassion.
Christian and gospel music account for 7% of all recorded music sales in the US, with 26 million albums sold in 2012 – more than the sales of classical, blues and jazz combined.
In the UK, churches have seen attendance increase by 3% in 2012 with 7.6 million adults now attending each month. The UK saw 600 new Christian music albums released last year.
The Official Christian & Gospel Albums Chart will be broadcast every week on leading Christian digital stations Premier Radio and UCB, as well as being published weekly at www.officialcharts.com, the home of the UK’s Official Charts online.
The UK’s Christian & Gospel industry will unveil the first Official Christian & Gospel Album Chart Top 20 on Monday March 11. The event host David Grant and industry leaders will be joined by artists at work in the Christian and Gospel fields today, including Delirious? frontman Martin Smith and the London Community Gospel Choir.
“The Official Charts Company is committed to profiling and celebrating all sectors of the UK musical landscape,” said Official Charts Company Charts director Omar Maskatiya. “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 & Gospel 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.”
Jonathan Brown, managing director of Integrity Music, the UK’s biggest Christian and Gospel record label who have supported the development of the chart said, on behalf of Christian and Gospel music labels, “This is a defining moment and changes the landscape for Christian and Gospel music in the UK. 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 new chart launches in partnership with Compassion UK, an international Christian child development and child advocacy ministry. CEO Ian Hamilton commented: “Compassion UK are thrilled to be partnering with the launch of the Official Christian & Gospel Album Chart, we are honoured to have many ambassadors for our ministry among Christian Music artists in the UK as we work to bring Worship and Justice together.”