Stuart Townend is known and respected by musicians and worship leaders throughout Britain and beyond. He is probably best known as a Stoneleigh International Bible Week worship leader, a major Christian event drawing over 20,000 visitors from around the world; but he is involved in worship in a great many other areas.
Stuart continues to be involved in leading worship with a number of organisations, including Spring Harvest, New Frontiers, CARE, Worship Together, and Mandate, and will be at Northern Ireland's New Horizon festival.
Stuart is much respected for his small group training for church worship leaders, and has met with much success as a keyboard player, singer and record producer, including producing the Stoneleigh live worship albums, including "Ruach" which won the Christian Booksellers Convention Album of the Year Award.
Stuart grew up as the youngest of four children in a Christian family in West Yorkshire where his father was a Church of England vicar. Stuart's family always enjoyed music and one brother, Ian, went on to become a member of the group Heartbeat. Stuart himself began to play the piano at the age of 7.
It was while living in West Yorkshire that at the age of 13 he made his Christian commitment. Then later at the age of 18, when helping to lead a children's camp in Hand Cross, West Sussex, he had a profound experience of the Holy Spirit. A literature degree at the University of Sussex brought Stuart to Brighton and there he met Caroline whom he married in 1988. They now have three children; Joseph, Emma, and Eden, and are members of the Church of Christ the King in Brighton where Stuart regularly leads worship.
One area in which Stuart is making a significant contribution to the life of the church is his songwriting where songs like "In Christ Alone” and “How Deep the Father's Love" are making an impact. Yet Stuart says that he wrote nothing until he was 22 years old.
"I had a project to complete, and I had left it late. I picked the topic of worship and started to write. I had what I can only call a revelation and this led to my realizing there was a call on my life to write and lead worship. Until that moment, it had never crossed my mind." A great many worshippers are now very glad his homework was late.