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Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009
The Bracknell church of rock BOB
By Linda Serck
BBC Berkshire reporter

Kerith enjoys the music of church band Ethos

When I was asked to judge a battle of the bands at a church in Bracknell I must admit I was expecting a quietly inspirational affair.

What followed at Kerith Community Church was something akin to a rock concert coupled with the X Factor.

I walked into a 1000-capacity venue with a mammoth stage glowing under a full light rig, while cameramen were filming all angles live onto a screen.

And it's all happening again for another BOB on Friday 11 December 2009.

"People have this misconception of a church that it should be pews and stained glass windows," says the church's director of music and BOB organiser Dave Betts. "We look at things differently here".

He adds: "I was blown away when I came along to the first battle of the bands because it's not what I expected.

"You don't expect to go to a church with TVs showing what's going on in the main room, with a Green Room at the back and camera men and a big screen."

Kerith Community Church
Kerith Community Church is a 1000-capacity venue

Hoosiers frontman Irwin Sparkes used to attend Kerith, which is part of a group of churches called New Frontiers.

Kerith also has a house - or church - rock band called Ethos, who have released an album called Calling Out.

And there can't be many churches that have a dedicated creative arts department featuring audio technicians, recording engineers, camera operators, media editors and photographers.

The modern outlook is also reflected in the church's worship, which is as much geared towards a younger audience as the traditional church-goer.

Kerith Community Church
Kerith Community Church is on Church Road, Bracknell

Sunday evenings are focused on the 150-strong youth group featuring live music shows.

"What drew me to the church was the pop-rock sounding worship songs," says 20-year-old Dave. "For me that's very close to my heart.

"People expect us to be singing hymns, but the music we play is actually very similar to the stuff you hear on the radio, just with Christian lyrics."

Battle of the bands - how to enter

Bands from around Berkshire are invited to enter the battle, which is open to everyone.

You'll be asked to perform live on stage in front of a packed crowd, with three judges offering a review afterwards.

The deadline for entries is Friday 20 November 2009. Click here to download a submission form.

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