The care of our planet, the threat of extinction – Hymn

The care of our planet, the threat of extinction,
alerts us to need to be stewards of the earth:
this place of great beauty, our God given tenure,
the place of our nurture, the globe of our birth.

This place we must guard for each new generation,
to leave as we found it or, better, restored;
to share each resource without greed or pretension,
not barring the needy, not plunder, nor hoard.

The  banquet of God is for all of God’s people,
communion companions are both rich and poor,
our ultimate end will remove all distinctions,
no birthright or creed can obstruct heaven’s door.

God’s common wealth love can encompass all nations,
but here in this place we must all make a start:
a life of acceptance of sister and brother,
the practice of loving, a God given art.

Andrew Pratt 1/5/2019
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Written for the 140th Anniversary of St John’s Methodist Church Whitchurch, Shropshire.
Tunes: STREETS OF LAREDO; ST CATHERINES COURT

Hymn Festival – Paris

RSCM France

welcomes you to a unique event –

In association with the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland…

JOIN US FOR OUR FIRST EVER

HYMN FESTIVAL

In the American Church, Quai d’Orsay, 75008 PARIS

1pm, Saturday 11th May 2019

The hymns, old and new, presented by noted hymnologist

Revd James Dickinson

Members of the RSCM France Singers conducted by

John Crothers

The von Beckerath Grand Organ played by

Malcolm Wisener

Booklet provided. Refreshments will follow our singing!

Suggested donation (at the door): €10

 

The American Church, Quai d’Orsay, Paris 8e

Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival

Your hymn book might hold enough for you, but then something happens in your local church or nationally, or internationally. You turn to HymnQuest. You search the themes and the chances are there’s something here. But, just occasionally, the words don’t fit.

Perhaps you could do better? But how to start.

On April 29th and 30th the Rev Drs Janet Wootton (Pratt Green Trust Vice-Chair) and Andrew Pratt (HymnQuest Editor), internationally known, published hymn writers are running hymn text writing workshops as part of the Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival. Find out more and sign on here: http://christianartsfestival.org/schedule/

Whether you have never written before or have published hymns there will be space for you to share and learn. Janet and Andrew look forward to seeing you.

We will not own the words of hate – a plea for mutual humanity

We will not own the words of hate
that lead to horror, carnage, death;
our song is love and only love,
from now until our final breath.

We stand with those who share with us,
humanity and human grace,
and those who own a different way,
another heritage or face.

God, show us how to join our hands,
to value life, to share and pray,
until we break down walls of hate
embodying a different way.
Andrew Pratt 23/4/2019
Tune: RIVAULX
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

After the bombing of churches in Sri Lanka, at a time when inter-faith tension has a risk of increasing across the globe.

Notre Dame on Fire – hymn

A sad conflagration, now Paris is grieving,
the fire crews have struggled to dowse and control,
so much has been ruined, yet memory still rises,
God’s grace will enliven rebuilding its soul.

For hundreds of years generations have worshipped,
the river has flowed near where people have prayed.
Now voices are silent, the hearts of the people
are rending at loss where the flames leapt and played.

So now we stand silent as God’s congregation.
Where once saints had sung timbers smoulder and crash.
Your Church, God, is human, but buildings have purpose,
may witness and faith rise again from this ash.

Andrew Pratt 15/4/2019
Notre Dame on fire this evening.
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Maundy Thursday – Good Friday – Pilate

God or self? the timeless question,
greeting all of humankind.
When we meet Christ in our neighbour
God and self should be aligned.

Will we wash our hands of duty
when decisions must be made,
simply standing at on the sidelines
when the action could be played?

Will we emphasise compassion,
or the greed of our desire,
light the lamp of love among us
or extinguish hidden fire?

Will we build up walls of hatred
shielding us from human need,
or reach out with loving kindness
to the ones we ought to feed?

When we meet Christ in our neighbour
God and self should be aligned.
God or self? the timeless question,
greeting all of humankind.
Andrew Pratt 14/4/2019 After a sermon by Tim Simms
Tune: ALL FOR JESUS
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

What does singing do to us?

When we sing we embody (in-body) the theology that we have read. We take it in, translate, interpret and transmit. In the process are we, perhaps, formed or changed by the medium? Not pushing the metaphor too far, is it in any way like eating – what we eat becomes part of us, we excrete some of it, and it can nourish or poison…

So what we sing, and even how we sing, becomes important in a way we may not have envisaged before. It is one thing to read a text which remains remote, like looking at a cake and not eating it; it is something altogether different to take the text in and to re-transmit it. That we might do by reading aloud. The sheer physicality of singing, the presence of music, steps everything up a gear. Wesley knew that. That is why hymns were so important. The hymns provided portmanteau scriptures or interpretations, theology or doctrine. These were memorised and could be shared with others. And you can never lose them – which can become a bit of an irritation!

Why do you like this hymn or that? Why do you find some hymns abhorrent? ‘A good sing’ says as much, if not more, about feeling as it does about understanding or literary or musical quality. But Britta Martini wants to push us further by asking what is there in the expression of the music or the structure of a text, key or melody, image or metaphor, that causes a hymn to affect us in this way?

What hymns or songs affect you? And how? And why?