Who are we?

Saffron Planet is a simple concept. It is just a group of ordinary folk, four Christian families and their friends, who wish to know more about God, His word and His dealings with the world. They meet up on Sunday afternoons and chat around a dining table on a variety of topics. These chats are edited and broadcast as podcasts on www.SaffronPlanet.net for all who wish to share in our journey.

Saffron Planet are the Maltz, Werth, Jeffery and Hill families, spanning two generations and fifty years. Within these families are teachers, authors, broadcasters, musicians, media professionals, housewives and schoolkids, representing a wide range of experiences and aspirations but united in their desire to see true Biblical Christianity taught and practiced in our nation.

Steve Maltz (author of six books and web consultant for Christian media ministries in the UK), dreamed up the concept a few years ago but left it on a back boiler until, in January 2008, he got together with his son, Simon (web editor for Christianity magazine), Howard Werth (retired rock star and music producer and teacher), his son Louie (community radio presenter) and Steve Jeffery (TV station studio manager). Kitted out with £10 microphones from Maplin, we sat around a dining table and talked, with no agenda, for around an hour. Then, exhausted, we had a long lunch and did other things. But, playing back the recordings later on, we realised that we had produced something raw but interesting and we arranged to meet up more regularly to see if anything of use could result.

At this time, over in the USA, the Todd Bentley circus had much of the Christian world enthralled. Not so Saffron Planet and a series of biting but balanced broadcasts on the Florida Revival began to gain us a steady audience from all over the World. We caught the eye (and ear) of a Christian presenter on a Scottish secular radio station (Northsound 2) and short programmes have been aired on Sunday nights ever since. More significantly, as a result of a meeting at the Churches’ Media Conference, Russell Farnworth of Trans World Radio was suitably impressed to give us a financial grant enabling them to upgrade from the £10 microphones to top-of-the-range headsets that meant that people could now actually hear everything that we said in the broadcasts! A new dawn beckoned!

In the Summer of 2008, Saffron Planet (senior members) had to squeeze their portly frames into dinner suits in order to accept their “People’s Choice” award at the annual Christian Web and Blog award ceremony, sponsored by Premier Radio. They were also to be “highly commended” by the Christian Broadcasting Council later in the year for their audio podcasts. In January the “Saffron Planet Show” was broadcast for a season on Trans World Radio on Saturday nights, just after the Martin Lloyd Jones broadcast, which must have been a culture shock for any elderly folk too slow to switch off their radios after their weekly sermon from the Welsh preacher.

Early in 2009 a fourth family was added to the Maltz, Werth and Jeffery family broadcasts, which by now regularly included wives and more sons, as well as the odd grandparent and sister (and the occasional luminary, such as John Mackay and Tony Pearce) and a whole host of friends. Chris Hill, veteran Bible teacher and broadcaster had arrived on the scene.

Chris and Lindy had been a friend to the Maltz and Jeffery family for a few years and it really seemed that God was leading us on the same path. Chris and Lindy were to provide their vast experience and an unswerving Biblical foundation to the broadcasts and we were now empowered to delve deeper, where before we were just scratching surfaces. Thanks to another grant from Trans World Radio and an unexpected cash flow blip, we managed to scrape together enough pennies to exhibit at the Christian Resources Exhibition in May 2009, the largest of its kind in the country.

Whatever is to happen there (still in the future) will determine what is to happen next in the life of Saffron Planet.