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Bethnal Green church celebrates with The Mint Juleps and record-spinning Reverend

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 November 2010

The Mint Juleps (l-r) Julie Isaac, Sandra Charles, Lizzie Charles, Debbie Longworth, Debbie Charles and Marcia Charles

The Mint Juleps (l-r) Julie Isaac, Sandra Charles, Lizzie Charles, Debbie Longworth, Debbie Charles and Marcia Charles

Carmen Valino

A Bethnal Green church rocked to a different kind of sermon on October 30 when visitors were entertained by a 1980s acapella soul group, a reggae band and a Reverend spinning the decks.

Celebrations at St John on Bethnal Green church for Black History Month

The St John on Bethnal Green church in Cambridge Heath Road hosted a Black History Month celebration which included a rare performance by The Mint Juleps.

They released an acapella version of Neil Young’s Only Love Can Break Your Heart in 1986 and also toured with Sister Sledge and Billy Bragg.

The group’s six members grew up in Stepney and Bow, including the four Charles sisters – Sandra, Lizzie, Debbie and Marcia.

Crowds also enjoyed reggae band Lion and the Background Sound and a DJ set by one of the church’s reverends, Alan Green.

After a Burundi drumming band pulled out of the concert, he mixed African drumming songs into his usual playlist.

Reverend Green, who plays a monthly set at The Florist pub in Globe Road, said: “I play everything from early blues to 1960s rock music and even world music.

“You can’t really dance to the drumming tracks as much though.

“Black History Month is an important part of the community in Tower Hamlets and it’s good for the church to get as involved as possible.”

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