Inspiring Stories
Inspiring Stories
Inspiring Stories
Inspiring Stories
Inspiring Stories

All I need is a home

The amazing story of Bryn Haworth and his thought provoking new music video

Lancashire-born slide guitarist Bryn Haworth rose to fame in the late 1960s, joining "Les Fleur de Lys" in London, which became house band for Atlantic Records. He played one evening with Jimi Hendrix and later co-founded Wolfgang in California. Returning to England, he signed with Island Records, releasing his debut LP "Let The Days Go By". Bryn's career includes recording as a session guitar player with renowned artists like Chris de Burgh, Cliff Richard and Gerry Rafferty, alongside numerous radio and TV appearances. In 1974, Bryn and his wife Sally became Christians, leading him to create 14 Gospel CDs and dedicate himself to prison ministries. His latest video "All I Need Is A Home" addresses homelessness, drawing from his own experiences and advocating for change.

Bryn speaks to Beccy Riley from Green Pastures about his life and music.

 I’d love to know about your own experiences with homelessness and how it impacted you. Would you mind sharing this part of your story with us?

Mum and Dad divorced when I was in my teens.   She went off with another man and I was left at home with Dad who I didn’t get on with. We had fist fights and I had to leave.  In the 60s London was where the music business was, so I got on a bus with my guitar and a suitcase and headed off.

I’d heard Denmark Street in Soho was the place to go. In those days they had ads saying ‘Wanted – lead guitarist / singer/ bass player ..’.   So I called up a few then waited around all day in a coffee shop. La Giaconda was friendly and let me hang out and wait for the phone to ring. At night I went back to Victoria Bus Station and slept on the benches as best I could.  I didn’t have much money so didn’t eat.  Eventually I met the Fleur De Lys who needed a lead guitarist and I got the job! It was a frightening, lonely experience.

When do you first remember being interested in music and how did you start to write and perform your own songs?

I pestered my parents for a guitar and got one when I was 11 years old.  I loved guitar music and joined various bands in and around Darwen, Lancs. I started to write songs in the mid 60s when I came down to London. I’ve always enjoyed the process of writing songs. All I Need Is A Home came from reflecting on the experience of homelessness. 

How did you meet your wife and how did you become a Christian?

I met my wife Sally in upstate New York. She's a Londoner and was travelling, as hippies often did in the 70s. One night I had a dream and from it I knew I had to leave the band I loved, and come back to England to get right with my dad.

Sally came to the house that day to say she was going back to England, and I said 'can I come with you'. So, after starting to reconcile with Dad in Darwen, we rented a cottage in Snowdonia and got married. 

The following year we moved to E.Sussex. One day we went for a drive to the sea and on the way saw a circus tent in a field and said 'let's go!'. It turned out to be a Dick Saunders Way To Life Crusade and we got saved! We met the vicar or a local church that night who gave us a wonderful foundation in Christ over the next three years.

How did you start dong work in the prisons and what kind of work do you do? 

In the late 80s I kept coming across Matt 25:36 ‘I was in prison and you visited me’, and every time I read it my heart leapt but I didn’t know how to do anything about it.   We went on staff at the church and the pastor gave me the job of starting the worship teams, and of all things starting a prison ministry. I called up all the prisons in London and asked if I could come in and they all said ‘No’ except for Wandsworth. The Church Army chaplain invited us to come and see what it was like, and as we were coming out from that first visit he said ‘right, you do it next week’.  And we (my wife Sally and I) have been doing it for 35 years!  We have a Trust called Music In Ministry which helps support the work.

Under the auspices of the Chaplaincy we take Sunday morning services, supply music equipment, songbooks, Bibles and teaching materials, and also do  outreach concerts as the opportunity arises. 

That sounds amazing! What kind of things do you experience in the prisons?

We experience so much in prisons! We see men and women coming to Christ and becoming disciples, and that is a regular occurance. We always ask prisoners if they would like prayer and see God's hand at work - we always come away from prison encouraged. One time in Wandsworth chapel we experienced a riot but even in the midst of that we felt God's peace and protection. Prisoners come to chapel for all sorts of reasons, but many come genuinely seeking God, wanting to make a change in their lives. It's exciting to see prisoners change as the years go by, growing in Christ, getting GCSE's, degrees, and other qualifications for life. We miss it on a Sunday when we're not there!

What does the song "All I need is a home" mean to you and why did you write it? What was the heart behind releasing the song and new video?

The song All I Need Is A Home was first recorded on my debut solo album for Island records. 50 Years later, seeing myself in the faces of the homeless today, and the painful rejection of multitudes looking the other way, I got together with international film director Nigel Walk to produce the video to help raise awareness: homelessness happened to me, it can happen to you. 

Nigel wrote the script for the video based around my own story. There are some great initiatives out there from charities. The Government response is to build more houses. But if you have no money you can’t afford these new homes that are being built. And if you haven’t got a home you can’t get a job, a bank account, and contribute to the system. More often you end up back in prison.  We want people to watch and share the video. We’ve listed lots of ways you can help get involved, and create a groundswell that will help turn the tide of homelessness in our country today.