Ben Cantelon is a Canadian-born, London-based worship leader and songwriter. Ben currently serves as a worship leader at Holy Trinity Brompton and is part of the Worship Central training team along with Tim Hughes and Al Gordon. We caught up with him recently at Creationfest in Cornwall.
How do you see the connection you see between worship and social justice?
They belong together. People see worship as something that’s sung on a Sunday but worship is so much more than that, it’s the day-to-day. It’s looking after the poor and underprivileged and asking “God, give us eyes to see these people and reach out to them.” That in itself is an act of worship and actively pursuing justice.
There are songs that also model that really well. We sang this song last night “Dancers dance upon injustice..Did you feel the mountains tremble,” here at Creationfest – that song was such a prophetic statement and now it has even more importance for the church. It’s a dying world and a world that’s in need. When we worship we need to remember that worship and social justice and the world around us are all connected.
What draws you to support Compassion’s work?
Compassion’s work is not only life-giving to an individual but also a community. My sponsored child in Uganda is part of a community and seeing transformation in her life but also in her community is incredible. Compassion is a key part of what I do and it’s great being able to encourage people to sponsor as a way of actively engaging with the poor.
Tell us about your sponsored child
We started sponsoring Patience a couple of years ago. Even though she’s in Uganda to have a relationship and to exchange letters is so encouraging. She loves crafts and drawing. In her photos we can see growth. We can see she is developing and becoming healthier. You see it in her eyes. It really is moving. It’s a powerful testimony to what a church can do, whether it’s one, ten or a hundred children.
It’s also about the one and seeing the transformation before your eyes. If we can communicate the power of that, the difference that a couple of Starbucks coffee a month can make, giving that to a child in need – it’s life-changing.