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'Beautiful blend of powerful truth with touching musical response'

Kevan and Jill Sutton of Millmead, Guildford Baptist Church, present passages of Scripture from memory accompanied by viola improvisations. A new resource for your ministry?


Kevan and Gill are passionate about bringing the Bible to life, by Kevan speaking out Scripture word-for-word from memory, enhanced by Gill’s viola improvisation.

Called Encounter, it’s a very simple production: the two of them on stage, two mics, minimal props, Gill’s viola and an expectant audience.

Encounter arose out of a period of recovery for Kevan from major surgery by resting in John’s Gospel over a period of time and hearing God speak through the experience. He wasn’t conscious of actually learning it so much as finding the Word of God growing within Him.

Their first project, therefore, was a series of chapters from John’s Gospel, to enable viewers to encounter the Jesus of the New Testament for the very first time, or reconnect in a fresh way as though experiencing an eye witness account.

Though the presentations range from a few minutes to an hour, the feedback shows that audiences, including young people, are riveted, whatever the length. They retain the sense of a sacred text, but use the varying pace of narrator and characters to create the reality of actually being there, while the viola interludes provide Selah moments to reflect on what has just been said.

Some comments:

  • Captivating way to experience the Gospel
  • You play the viola with such passion – it gives time to process the text
  • Beautiful blend of powerful truth with touching musical response

They have also performed the Book of Job which was edited, musically scored and memorised during lockdown, giving a solo voice and viola journey with Job through his suffering, questioning and ultimate encounter. 

Job lost his means of livelihood, family members died without him being able to say goodbye, and he was struck down by an incurable disease. Even though his story is nearly 4000 years old, you couldn’t get more relevant to our current Covid-19 situation if you tried! 

Facing up to the dilemma of why does an all-loving, all-powerful God allow suffering, this is definitely a story to help connect with the experiences so many over the last few years.

Again, some feedback:

  • Brought the story to life
  • Thought provoking – unravels the complexity of the text
  • Incredible memorisation
  • Gripped from start to finish

All their material can be viewed on YouTube at youtube.com/Encounter4Life

Other offerings include: Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, various Psalms, the Sermon on the Mount and 1 Corinthians 13. They can also do other passages to fulfil a particular request, and have taken their Encounter ministry to a variety of settings. 

What have they done so far?

  • Good Friday services – Psalm 22; John 18–19
  • Spurgeon’s College quiet day – passages from Ephesians
  • Student evening event – Chapters from John’s Gospel
  • High Street outreach – John’s Gospel
  • Pastors’ conferences – Extracts from the Book of Job
  • Evening events – The Book of Job

What’s in the diary?

  • Ashburnham Place Retreat Centre
  • Café snapshots – Extracts from John’s Gospel

Who’s it for?

  • Any age group from Year 5 upwards
  • Church ministry and study opportunities
  • Outreach events


Kevin and Gill would love to chat and understand how to best serve you in your ministry through Encounter.

Contact them at: kevan.sutton@hotmail.com



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Baptist Times, 11/04/2022
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