About Embrace

Embrace is an exciting event for men and women of all ages brought to you by World Vision UK. Travelling around the UK, Embrace is an inspiring and memorable evening of worship, prayer and mission.

Embrace is led by friend of World Vision, Lara Martin, and some of the UK's leading worship leaders and Christian musicians including Lou Fellingham, Velveta Thompson, Cath Woolridge, Donna Akodu and Nicki Sims.


God loves his people and hates injustice, poverty, sickness and fear. Through an evening of praise and worship, we aim to reveal God's heart for the lost, praying for heaven to break out on earth.
During the evening, Lara will talk about the life-changing work of World Vision and show how we work to bring real hope to millions of children in the world’s hardest places as a sign of God’s unconditional love. An opportunity will also be given to sponsor with us and bring real hope to a real child.

World Vision was founded by Bob Pierce in 1950 on the words of a simple but powerful prayer, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God”. This too is our prayer for the Embrace events. It’s our hope that all those who attend will be refreshed, re-energised and able to meet with God in a heartfelt way.


NEW for Season 3 – Creative Workshops

Taking place on Saturday afternoons, the addition of these workshops is to equip and inspire musicians, singers, songwriters and anyone involved in praise and worship ministry. Hear from individuals from the Embrace team who not only contribute to worship worldwide but who are committed to raising up passionate worshippers in the local church. Workshops will primarily explore musicianship, worship leading, vocals, team dynamics and more.


The afternoon will start with a short time of acoustic worship led by one of the Embrace team followed by a keynote session with Lara Martin entitled 'Embrace the Call’ (please see description below).

The rest of the afternoon will be dedicated to a choice of two workshops running simultaneously (both will include Q&A):

- The Musician
- The Vocalist

The Musician

A few of the following may be covered in this workshop:

-    Lifestyle of a musician
-    Ministry versus performance
-    Creating one sound
-    Team dynamics: both musical and relational
-    Leading worship with an instrument
-    The prophetic and flow
-    Productive team rehearsals

The Vocalist

This is a practical workshop and will involve group singing. A few of the following may be covered in this workshop:

-    Using your voice as an instrument
-    Leading worship without an instrument
-    Team dynamics: both musical and relational
-    Singing a New Song
-    The prophetic and flow
-    Harmony and blend

Keynote Session with Lara Martin: ‘Embrace the Call’:

Every thriving worship group has a strong team dynamic with each person playing their part to the full. How do we know what our unique part is and how do we express this individually and collectively? Hear from Lara as she shares biblical truths and practical keys from her 20+ years experience, to help develop a united, committed and effective worship team, whatever the size.

Schedule Example:

12:30pm  Registration
1:00pm    Acoustic worship led by one of the Embrace team
1:30pm    Keynote: Lara Martin
2:15pm    Comfort break
2:30pm    Workshops: The Musician & The Vocalist running simultaneously
4:00pm    End


£7 per person including entry into the Embrace Worship Night.


Prior booking is necessary in order that we plan and prepare effectively for each workshop with each venue having an allocated room size. You can register on line or with your nearest venue direct.

Workshop Teachers:

Please see Artist and Band sections below for bios of the workshop teachers.


Host an event

Would you like Embrace at your church? Simply complete the form below and we'll be back in touch with you in the next couple of days:


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Lara Martin

As the co-founder and host of Embrace, Lara's passion is to see the unique combination of worship, God's word, prayer and mission embraced and creatively expressed throughout the church world-wide.

As a singer, songwriter, worship leader and public speaker, Lara has a unique way of combining her gift in music with telling stories from her own experiences in life and sharing those of others. Her message is inexplicably one of hope. Lara is best known for her songs ‘The Voice of Hope’, ‘God is Here’ and ‘Divine Exchange’ which are sung in congregations all over the world. More recent songs include ‘God Sees You’ and ‘Soothe’ from her latest album 'Pearl'.

For more information, please visit www.laramartin.co.uk



 Lou Fellingham

Lou's distinctive voice and heart for people have distinguished her as a much loved singer, worship leader and recording artist. Lou has a desire for people to be strengthened and encouraged through music and song, and if you listen to contemporary Christian music, chances are that you have already heard her beautiful voice.

Lou has just released her 4th solo album 'Fascinate' with Integrity Music and she features on countless compilation albums with artists such as Stuart Townend - notably singing a version of his famous song ‘In Christ Alone'.

For more information, please visit www.loufellingham.com





Velveta Thompson

Velveta has been a worship leader for over 30 years with her husband Steve. They are also conference speakers and directors of a children’s conference at London School of Theology, as well as being consultants to many churches in the UK and abroad.

Velveta’s main vocation is to her husband and two daughters, Esther, 13 and Velisha, 21. Family time is her passion, saying “The most precious time is when we all have our guitars and worship in the lounge at home”.

Velveta is the daughter of a Minister and grew up in church singing from the age of three. Alongside her husband, Velveta has worked with Graham Kendrick for over 20 years and is eager to see women released into their God given destiny, embracing all that God has for them.

For more information please visit www.beracahmusic.co.uk




 Donna Akodu

Donna is a singer, songwriter, worship leader and recording artist. For over 20 years her ministry has taken her all across the world. Donna regularly leads worship and teaches at conferences and other events as well as being the worship/vocal coordinator for the Kingdom Worship Movement.

Donna is passionate about the saviour she is singing about and wants those that she leads to experience the joy that true worship brings. To date she has released two solo albums, ‘When Heaven Breaks In' and 'Butterfly'.

Donna is a worship leader at Oasis Church Colliers Wood, London, is married to Abdul and has two children, Nathaniel and Rachel.

For more information, please visit www.donnaakodu.com



Nicki Sims


Nicki Sims

Nicki is a church leader, worship leader and songwriter who is passionate about raising up a generation of 24-7 worshippers.

Married to Pete, together they are Senior Pastors of Skylark Church in Essex, and have one daughter. Nicki also speaks and leads worship at a variety of different churches, conferences and events.

For more information, please visit www.peteandnickisims.com




Cath Woolridge

Cath Woolridge is the director of Sound of Wales (SOW) and lives in Pontypridd near Cardiff with her author and spoken word husband, Dai. Cath is passionate about all things family, creativity, worship, the nations and her native country of Wales.

Cath travels internationally as a worship leader and speaker as well as attending and leading worship at Glenwood Church in Cardiff. She is passionate about seeing people set free and liberated to all they were made to be in Christ.
For more information, please visit www.sowmusic.org.uk





Guest worship leader Nicki Rogers

Nicki is passionate about God, life and music. Her music is drawn from the complexities of life – faith and doubt, joy and sadness, the subliminal and the sublime.

As a singer songwriter Nicki has three self-penned albums and also leads worship and teaches singing to individuals and choirs in her home town of Milton Keynes. She is wife to Malky and mum to 1 year old Ruan.





Steve Thompson

Steve Thompson

Steve has served in the music ministry along with his wife Velveta for over 30 years. They are the founders of Beracah Music International and have travelled to over 100 countries worldwide. After studying at Bible College in Germany, Steve went on to work extensively with Graham Kendrick as Musical Director. Steve is also known for worship leading, seminar teaching, song writing, music directing and accompanying various international worship leaders and secular artists. Steve also serves as a part-time lecturer at London School of Theology.



Chris Morris

Chris Morris

Chris is a session musician and drum tutor who has over 10 years worth of experience in the music industry working as a drummer, bassist, musical director and producer. He has taught in schools, colleges and churches in and around London as well as delivering private tuition. Chris continues to work with some of the UK’s leading Christian artists.







Carl Stanbridge

Carl has been a freelance bass player for 20 years and has had the privilege of working with many great artists including Gloria Gaynor, Mavis Staples, Jocelyn Brown, Alexandra Burke and Jason Donovan. Carl is the resident bassist for the Young Voices arena tour, the Matt Schofield band and regularly plays with Noel Robinson, Lara Martin and other Christian artists.





Daniel James


Daniel James

Daniel is a musician, producer and mixer, having worked with countless artists across the globe and in many top studios he brings a unique perspective to music and is always looking for something new. 








Mark Walker


Mark Walker

Mark is a multi instrumentalist and session musician with over 30 years experience. Mark has travelled worldwide, and worked with Grammy award winning artists whether it be touring live shows or studio sessions. Also a writer and co producer, Mark’s greatest joy is knowing Jesus which he continues to express in his work be it in a Christian environment or secular setting.






 Lloyd Gordon

Lloyd worked as a professional musician for many years, for high profile artists from around the world. While on tour, Lloyd had an encounter with the Lord in a hotel room that changed his life forever. He felt God clearly tell him to leave the secular industry and follow him.
Since then Lloyd has become a sought after speaker and Musical Director who travels extensively across the UK, Europe and various parts of the world, creating a wide network of partnerships and alliances across denominational, cultural, geographical and racial lines.


Should you have any questions about hosting an event, please don't hesitate to contact us - EmbraceEvent@worldvision.org.uk


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