Andy Hawthorne was faced with a major challenge in the mid-1980s, when many of the ex-offenders he was employing were vandalising and stealing from his fashion accessory warehouse in Longsight in Manchester. However, what happened next helped to birth a major global youth movement called The Message Trust, now celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
“The lads we hired had come straight out of young offenders’ institutions. They were a nightmare. There was absolute carnage with violence, vandalism and graffiti all over our factory and then the break-ins started about three times a week,” explains Andy. “Their lives were totally chaotic because nobody was telling them about the Christ in a language they could understand.
“That led myself and my brother to come up with this naïve, arrogant idea to book what was then Manchester’s premier rock venue in Manchester, the Apollo Theatre, and organise the biggest youth mission the city had ever seen called Message ’88. Despite the fact t...
Subscribe to one of our subscription packages
to get digital access to our articles.