Treasure 75: The Price of Sin

(This article has been adapted from a Short Metre presentation given at the Hymn Society Conference in Liverpool, July 2008). In The Penguin Book of Hymns Ian Bradley tells us that several New Testament scholars have admired the theology of Cecil Frances Alexander’s hymn ‘There is a green hill far away’, but then he goes on to say that other …

Treasure 74: Geoffrey Beaumont and the 20th Century Church Light Music Group – A Recognition of their Contribution to Contemporary Hymnody

The breadth of music used today for worship is staggering, as is the abundance of hymnals and songbooks. Styles also vary enormously, ranging from the traditional four-part hymn setting to modern choruses and worship songs. Instrumentation has also changed accordingly. Electric guitars, keyboard and even drums are now a common feature in churches. Many changes have taken place in the …

Treasure No 73: Healing the Nations: Fred Kaan The Man and his Hymns by Gillian Warson, Stainer & Bell Ltd. 115 pp £9.50 ISBN 0-85249-889-6

Some years ago I suggested to Fred Kaan that he could write a fascinating autobiography. He was not so inclined, but I continued to believe that such a book would have been fascinating and warmly welcomed. What we have here is a short biography, by an author who tells us, ‘Fred Kaan…had always been something of an idol for me!’ …

Treasure No 67: Mrs Alexander

[Condensed from an address at the Society’s conference in Dublin, July 2000.] Cecil Frances Alexander, that most notable and prolific of all the Victorian hymn writers, was born in a well-to-do part of Dublin in 1818. Her mother’s stock had produced a line of Army officers and her father, Major John Humphreys, had seen service in the Marines until wounded …

Treasure No 66: Farewell to the Twentieth Century

A revised version of the lecture given at the Annual Conference, Lampeter, July 1999 The first—and the last—response to twentieth-century hymnody should be praise. In between I shall suggest some problems, but they are general problems of belief, and worship, and, although they have serious consequences for twentieth-century hymnody, they should not be allowed to obscure some very real causes …