Mark Laurent


I wasn’t sure if I should add this page to my site, as it feels a bit like bragging. But various friends encouraged me to share what I’ve been given as it’s evidence of something ‘other’ which goes on - that deeper life which we call God - which is with us and works through us, often despite ourselves, when given half a chance. These are a few of the messages I’ve received over the years from listeners who have become friends. I called this page ‘Grace’ as there really is no other word to describe such gifts. Grace means ‘unmerited favour’, and I’ve been the recipient of way more than my fair share of such favour over the years. Thank you all.

Was listening to your Music the other day, and I decided that your voice is my favourite out of any artist I've ever listened to, I love the way you can tell a story through your tone and your song.

- Tyler Hoggard

Just want to say that I love the warmth and heartfelt vibes in your music and always have done since I first heard you in the '80s with Kindness.

- Paul Huggins

I first met Mark around 30 years ago – I was a new Christian at the time. I remember him as this skinny, long haired, blind hippie guy with really sweet music, I bought a cassette from him – he had them in a shoebox - ”Kindness In A Strong City”. Soon after that I felt God tell me to leave home, so I got a one way ticket to Sydney – it was the start of many adventures in Australia and I played that tape a heck of  lot – my fave song was/is ”All I Ever Really Wanted “, great for a homesick Kiwi wondering what he was doing a lot of the time. I still have a copy of that cassette in my bedside drawer. Mark’s music stirs my heart and helps me connect with myself and God, and to express things I don’t know how to.

- Barry Atkinson

Saw some stuff about you on the web-- made me remember when I first heard your tape - I think it was ‘87 or ‘88 -- remember your amazing guitar playing and poetic lyrics - just wanted to say I really liked Kindness In A Strong City and have heard some of your latest stuff played on National Radio ... bless - Leah x

Thanks for donating the copy of your latest poetry to the St Francis Centre library. I've read it through and appreciate your recounting of prayerful life experiences, ringing a number of bells with me. I particularly enjoyed  "Something To Say", having had that experience both at our Te Muri bach and here at the friary on a moonlit night. And so it was with "The Mystery" and "The One". On Tuesday I led our Time Out Day and chose Franciscan themes as my input and I rounded off my talk by quoting "The Seed" as a fitting finale as it seemed to me to be a wonderful summing up of the conversion of St Francis and what God wanted of him and his response. Thanks for that, Mark. Now your book goes into the library for whoever is drawn to it. God bless, aroha.

- Fr Lucian OFM

Mark, THRoW AWAY THE SToNES is the best poetry book I've ever pondered. That first poem is classic. I keep wanting to quote the great 'one liners', but every line is a great 'one liner'. You have a way of setting the scene that you can almost feel sea sick, and taste the 'cardboard food adrift on a plastic plate'. Weary people, 'flotsam of cancelled sailings' etc. I love the ones I've read. The one profound question of all is ' Who am I?' and I sat with that one for ages. My own spiritual path has led me to that 'place', and to that question. Thank you so much, and all the very best with your good work. - Sister Cecily Sheehy

Dear Mark, I would like to thank you for your beautiful music that has given me so much comfort and peace. My name is Ruby and I have had the pleasure of being introduced to your soulful and delicate music and lyrics over the past year or so. I have listened intently while I go through a difficult stage in my life. I have been battling cancer and going through treatment. I often get lost in your music. I lay in bed while my body goes through its phases and turn on my iPod and escape to this beautiful place while listening to your angelic, gentle and beautiful voice. The lyrics to some of your songs make me feel at peace. They make me feel like I’m not alone and that I’m not the only one. - Ruby, Adelaide

Most excellent. You singing that song at festival's end was a gift beyond measure. Thank you for sharing your enlightened "revelation". To me it spoke to more than just those of us at the festival, it covers all of us moving through life, all with a common destination, in meaning & in love for one another. And I believe that each of us there received it as almost a personal message. Bless you for being the "channel" of communication. And I also want to acknowledge your exquisite sensitivity in playing, Mark. You are indeed a gifted, talented musician. All the best.

- Dave Warren (Auckland Folk Festival)

Mark just to let you know you have been an inspiration to me over the years. I first came across you back in the early 80s I was a harp player from Taranaki living in Auckland taking far too many stimulants. One day whilst parking myself in a coffee house in Vulcan Lane I heard you playing your Christian blues. What a paradox for me – how could one so talented be singing about Jesus? I could relate to the ”all my friends are dying” stuff though!

I had been looking into the Hare Krishna thing but you planted a new perspective. I met you once at Tahora and it was a privilege to jam with you one morning in the shearers quarters kitchen, something I never will forget! Its thanks to your courage and conviction to get out there all those years ago that made the difference and set me on a path to living a wonderful and fulfilling life. - Kevin Henderson

Hey Mark. You probably don't know me - but I attended Kaurilands Church of Christ when I was young and heard you play a few times. Your music and life was an inspiration to me, your love for the poor etc. I now live in Chicago with Jesus People USA. My wife and I work at a homeless shelter called Cornerstone Community. I want to encourage you and let you know that you played a part in me seeing my faith in Christ thru a different lens. That is the importance of loving our neighbors as ourselves, & advocating for 'the least of these'. Thanks Mark - Jeremy (JPUSA)

Thanks Mark, you are an inspiration. Many told me they felt so much love - " that they were bursting with love"- or gently crying, listening to your music and poetry. I feel the only thing greatly lacking in this world is Love /Aroha, and every drop is a godsend, so thanks for being a catalyst.

- Roger (Monkton, the Village Gathering)

I remember you from your travels through Te Anau and also when I worked on Waiheke Island. Your "Redeemer" album was played in the shop I managed all day. It was an incredibly deep journey into faith, and right up there with Keith Green, Matthew Ward and Petra - was a great blessing to me. - Pastor Neil Johnston (Oamaru)

HI Mark, I first heard your music in the UK through a mutual friend Stu Angus. It was the 'strong city' recording. I was a brand new believer and your music had a profound impact on me and indeed was formative in my understanding of who Jesus is. I was thinking about you the other day and found the album online & downloaded it. So beautiful. Stu told me you are still performing and recording which is great. If you are ever in Canada please come to our town (Kelowna, BC) and we will organize some shows here. Keep going Mark, you are such a blessing and you will perhaps never know how many souls you have impacted through your gift.

Love and respect. - Graham Ord

A light shines brightest in the darkness my friend. After all, we are beacons and lighthouses, our lives used by God to protect others from crashing on life's shores. Allow me to honour you in this moment; the lifetime of determination to keep it real, and communicate the pure essence of God has inspired me to be steadfast too. Thank you for the price you have paid to share this wisdom. I would like to honour you. - Glyn McLean

As you introduced the song your tone of voice lowered, then as you started to play – it was as if peace descended right there and then and we all just stood in a sacred realm and didn’t want to leave.

- Bronwyn Babbage, Cityside

Thanks Mark, you have been a constant transmitter of good news. Close to 40 years back I walked down the road in Rotorua as a seeker of The Way. I heard your song My Friends Are Dying and it impacted me so much I was undone for days. Found a new path, stayed on it and realised then that Love works in mysterious ways. Thank you Bro. - Walter Scheer


photo; Nigel Atkins