Flame management team and advisors

Wirral Christian Media Limited (Directors) : Norman Polden (Managing Director), Alan Hollinshead, Roy Lawrence, Peter McGrath, David Higham.

Flame CCR & Flame on the Web : Norman Polden (Station Manager), David Higham (Deputy Manager, Programme Manager), Mark Polden (Engineering).

Advisors : Alan Hollinshead (IT & Business), Brian Knight (Radio), Chris Perkins (IT & Technical), Derek Lindley (Prayer), John Cheek (external liason), Mal Wright (Finance), Mark Polden (Audio & Technical), Nick Cowan (Marketing), Peter Leach of Broadcast Solutions (Radio and System), Peter McGrath (Ministry), Phil Thomas (Health and Safety), Roy Lawrence (Church & Community).

Prayer Co-ordinator : Derek Lindley.

Flame people

Since June 2000 many local volunteers have been involved in our local radio activities - in technical, in administration and in broadcasting. Details of our current presenters are shown in our broadcasting schedule.

Please contact us at flameccr@googlemail.com if you want to know more about the Flame team or want to join the team.

God made us a family

... we need one another, we love one another, we forgive one another.
... we work together, we play together, we worship and serve God together.
... together we use God's word, together we grow in Christ, together we love all men, together we serve our God, together we hope for Heaven.
These are our hopes and ideals, help us to attain them O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Flame CCR - "touching Heaven, changing earth"

Our key purposes in radio broadcasting are :

1. Providing radio services to the Christian community and the strengthening of links within it

2. Improving local awareness of the Christian Community and bridge building to the local wider Community

3. Increasing social inclusion, welcoming involvement from all people in our broadcasting activities.

Local radio for local people, by local people

We believe that radio is a key 21st Century method of communicating the Christian message … please keep praying for us and supporting us. The dream of full-time radio has now turned into reality - on 1521 kHz MW.

Flame CCR is also simulcast on the internet as "Flame on the Web", enabling many supporters outside of our "on-air" coverage to listen to Flame "on-line".

We trust that medium wave has a good longevity (and our broadcasting licence has been extended to December 2019). However our internet simulcast leads Flame on into the digital age and, in harmony with our friends in Commedia and other enthusiasts for radio, we champion the use of the internet for digital radio. Community Radio practicioneers believe that DAB has technical limits and high costs, both of which preclude its use for community radio. Since 2013 we have had programmes for LISTEN AGAIN via our website and are experiencing considerable use of this facility.

So light up the fire and let the Flame burn; open the door, let Jesus return, take seeds of His Spirit, let the fruit grow; tell the people of Jesus, let His love show“ … Parchment‘s UK 1974 hit “light up the fire” (a Liverpool group).


we just love encouraging youngsters to learn media skills

The "Green Door" studio - an Institution of Electronics training centre

We have one operating studio ("a pleasure to work in") plus a programme assembly facility and additional speech recording facility.

The Flame studio offers training accredited by the Institution of Electronics. Current space constraints limit us to only one or two students at a time, but we do provide on the job training and experience to people who want to learn:
* Office skills
* Computer-based audio recording and editing
* Interviewing techniques and programme composition
* Programme presentation (pre-recorded programmes)
* Station announcer duties
People of all ages are welcome and no previous experience is necessary. All we ask is an enthusiasm for broadcasting and a love of radio.

All training is tailored to suit individual requirements, and successful completion of appropriate training will be certificated by the Institution of Electronics.

The UK Christian Radio scene

Full-time nationwide Christian Radio stations are on satellite, cable and Freeview, plus DAB (digital) in some regions. Part-time opportunities have been available for many years and a limited number of Christian groups have taken up these RSL (Restricted Service Licence) opportunities. There are now over 200 local Community Radio stations, including nine UK Christian Community radio stations - Cross Rhythms City Radio (Stoke on Trent), Shine FM (Northern Ireland), Revival Radio (Cumbernauld), Hope FM (Bournemouth), Spirit of Plymouth, Branch FM (Dewesbury), Cross Rhythms (Teeside), Alive Radio (Dumfries) and Flame CCR.

The Christian Broadcasting Council (www.christianbroadcastingcouncil.co.uk) represents these independent Christian radio stations and encourages Christians to be involved with their local community radio station.

The History of Flame FM

To hope is not to dream but to turn dreams into reality

In June 2000 four people (Norman & Mark Polden, Mike Smith and Adrian Bryan) set up a radio station in Wirral Christian Centre in Birkenhead, with an antenna on St Saviour’s Church tower, and broadcast, under restricted Service Licence on 106.2 MHz FM for 28 tiring days to celebrate the Millennium. Many people found us on the dial and came to help us, and encouraged us to broadcast again. So a group of volunteers converted part of an old night club in Bebington into a studio, audio facilities and office. An antenna was put onto the Storeton Tower and the “Flame FM on Wirral” broadcasts on 87.7 Mhz FM reached parts of Liverpool, Runcorn, Chester and Rhyl, as well as Wirral. The team grew, 24 hour broadcasts were established with computers, and Flame broadcast to the maximum allowance of two 28 day broadcasting periods per year. We proved that ordinary people, with computers and second hand equipment, and an extra-ordinary God, could achieve a professional sounding radio station to a listenership who were hungry for a family friendly radio with a Christian ethos. And introduced to people a wide range of Christian music, of all genres.

In this period, Flame’s youngsters won a Jerusalem Productions “Best Newcomer” Award in 2004, and the Haynesies Friends series on people’s stories was Highly Commended by the Christian Broadcasting Council in 2006. In 2005 the Countryside Commission grant-aided a series of Heritage Programmes, which were completed in 2008 and are now on our web-site for “listen again”. Some of our teaching programmes have been broadcast on other UK radio stations and supplied to a Bible College in the Far East. Wirral’s ethnic minorities were served by programmes in Chinese, and Irish music. We also helped Wirral Carers with CARER’S FM in June 2006.

In parallel with broadcasting, we joined other UK Christian groups in pressurising the government for full-time licenses. Our 2004 application to Ofcom for a licence was rejected in 2006 because of a dearth of FM frequencies in the North-West, but at the end of 2007 Ofcom offered us a Medium Wave Community Radio licence and Flame CCR (Christian and Community Radio) was born.

In the years 2000 to 2007, our “practice field”, we learnt the value of a local focus in broadcasting (involving local people, raising local interest). We drew people from all denominations. building bridges into the community - via people being interviewed, making programmes, being voices on air, being part of the technical crew, and helping in the office. We also recorded music in our “Green Door Studio” for broadcasting. We proved that radio is very effective in providing encouragement, company, and a "background" to life - everywhere we go we hear the sound of a radio. We forged links with Wirral’s churches via “Churches Together in Wirral” and helped them establish a comprehensive web-site www.churcheswirral.co.uk with details of all Wirral churches. A confident estimate is that well over 10,000 people have listened to Flame; we still meet people who were blessed by Flame. Our programmes included people’s stories, via our “Chat room” (with some of the stories available on CD) and “Haynesies Friends”. Also poetry for children (Tilly Tuppence) and adults (poetry from Clive). And many genres of music, some recorded in our own Green Door studio (they laugh a lot behind the green door).

Between June 2000 and April 2007 “Flame FM on Wirral” brought over 9,000 hours of Christian radio to a potential audience of over 300,000 people for a total cost of £225,000.

Flame had to change location, after our 14th RSL broadcast, in May 2007 and this, plus finance limitations, stopped further FM broadcasts from Storeton. But an office and studio has now been established in Rock Ferry, in St Paul’s Road Mission. To give us experience in internet radio, and to maintain our broadcasting expertise, Flame on the Web commenced broadcasting on Valentine’s Day 2008. A medium wave antenna was built in North Wirral and broadcasts on 1521 MHz medium wave started on 19th December 2009 ... realising the dream of full-time radio broadcasting. In September 2010 "a pleasure to work in" studio was opened in St Paul's Road Mission. In October 2011 the medium wave antenna was relocated at a permanent site in South Wirral. These broadcasts reach all of Wirral and beyond and our broadcasting licence has now been renewed to December 2019). Our internet simulcasts "Flame on the Web" have listeners worldwide, as also have our LISTEN AGAIN podcasts.

Full details of Flame FM are in a 52 page book “The battle of a sound” available from the Flame Studio.

About Wirral Christian Media

My photo
Wirral Christian Media (registered Charity) was founded in 2000 after the first "Flame FM on Wirral" RSL broadcast. After 14 RSL (Restricted Service Licence) broadcasts (2000 - 2007) full-time Community Radio broadcasting, under a Community Radio licence, commenced on 19th December 2009 (and now extended to December 2019). "Flame CCR" broadcasts on 1521 kHz (medium wave) from South Wirral and covers most of Wirral, and beyond. It is also simulcast as "Flame on the Web". Please contact us via flameccr@googlemail.com if you wish to receive our monthly prayer letter and news update, or are able to support us financially. STATEMENT OF BELIEFS - the Directors concur with the Evangelical Alliance “Basis of Faith”. Many of the members of Wirral Christian Media Limited also concur with this “Basis of Faith” but, because we operate across all Christian denominations, we expect all members to at least concur with the "Churches Together in England basis".

Contact us

  • e-mail : flameccr@googlemail.com
  • phone : 0151 643 1696
  • snailmail : Wirral Christian Media, St Paul's Road Mission Church, Rock Ferry, Wirral CH42 3UZ

Wirral Christian Media

  • Registered Charity 1116164 (founded in 2001).
  • Company 5277936 (incorporated in 2004).
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