Welcome to the website of
The Hymn Society of
Great Britain and Ireland

Hymn of the Day: Advent to Epiphany

Hymn of the Day: Advent to Epiphany
As the pandemic shows little sign of abating at present, we propose to run another series of Hymn (and Carol) reflections from Advent Sunday to Epiphany (November 29th to January 6th). This is about a week longer than the July series, and has the benefit of being more tightly focused.

The Bulletins are here!

The entire collection of Bulletins dating back to the first issue of October 1937 are now on our archive pages for members of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland to read. The issues cover all of Andrew Pratt's, Christopher Idle's, Bernard Massey's Erik Routley's and Millar Patrick's editorship.

The War years, 1950s, 1960s and every decade up to the present day are covered in the pages of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland's Bulletins.

This is a real treasure trove of historical articles, views, reviews and news. Each one is available to read online or download as PDF files. Earlier Bulletins currently consist of scanned image pages but these will be converted to searchable text and transfer to the Bulletin pages themselves. The PDF files will also be updated to searchable text PDF's. The Interactive index will continue to be updated as these Bulletins are converted to text pages.

There are many fascinating articles in theses Bulletins, some are included in our 80 Treasures. Access to the Bulletins is for members only. Not a member? Why not join us?

Conference 2020

Unfortunately the Conference has been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic

Dear Hymn Society Members,

It is with considerable regret that I have to notify you of the cancellation of our 2020 Hymn Society Leyland Conference. This was to have taken place from 14th– 17th July 2020; it is yet another casualty of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  However, having considered all aspects, the Officers have concluded, given that the situation is so entirely uncertain, and at present deteriorating, and with many of our Conference attendees being within the ‘over 70s’ and vulnerable’ categories, that it was really the only sensible and responsible course of action to take.  It does seem that the situation is likely to continue both within the UK and elsewhere for a good many months yet, if not for the rest of the year.

The decision had to be taken now in order to mitigate our contractual responsibilities with the  hotel who have, it has to be said, been extremely helpful and understanding.

Our present intention is to hold our next Conference, still at Leyland and with the Festival of Hymns in Blackburn Cathedral, from Tuesday, 20th – Friday, 23rd July 2021. Do, please, pencil a note in the back of your current diaries. We will certainly hope that by then everything will have settled down and that it will be possible to meet.

Deposits for bookings which have already been made, of which there are a good number, will of course be refunded.

I will conclude with a thought shared by one of our members who would have been contributing to this year’s Conference: ‘In the meantime, we shall go on singing, praying, and remembering each other, in our own homes.’

We hope that you all keep as well as possible and wish you every Blessing,

Robert A. Canham
Secretary, The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Coronavirus hymn responses

Three texts have been written by members of the Society in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. One by Bulletin Editor Andrew Pratt This sudden Sabbath gives us pause, a second by Committee Member Graham Deans A Coronavirus Hymn and a third by previous Committee Member Gordon Giles A Hymn for Lockdown.

RSCM website resources

As part of the RSCM offering in the current situation, they are encouraging everyone to join in singing their Hymn for the Day, found here, updated daily Monday to Saturday usually in the early afternoon. The words will appear on screen as the music plays.

For Sundays, the RSCM will be supplying Sunday Self-Service: a short service including hymns, readings, and prayers, which is updated each week on the same page

New: A list of Hymnology Collections from around the UK and Ireland

The latest addition to the website is a list of Hymnology collections, open to the public, from around the UK and Ireland.

The executive wish to extend our thanks to Christine Purcell who works with the Pratt Green Library in Durham and the various libraries that have provided the information. We hope this will provide a useful resource.

The Interactive Bulletin index now available on the website

We have created an interactive index for the Bulletin which covers the historic issues going back to 1937 (as new issues are published these will be added to the index).

The index comprises seven categories which are searchable, downloadable and printable and are made available to everyone visiting the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland website. For members there is an added advantage, each entry will be linked to its relevant article within an issue, directly opening that article when logged into the website. Non members will have the option of becoming a member to view the content.

Volumes XVII, XVIII, XIX and XX (numbers 234-281) are fully linked within the indexes with some parts of volumes of XXI and XXII (numbers 282-296) linked. All of these issues are available to our members to read.

Digitising Volume XVI has begun! Issues for July 2000 - October 2002 (Bulletins 224 - 233) are now linked within the index.

The new Bulletin index page can be found here

If you are a member of the society but do not have a user name or password for the new site (previous user names and passwords will not work on this new site), please contact the webmaster and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope you find this new resource useful.

The Executive of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Delegates from the 2017 Conference in Carmarthen

What is The Hymn Society?

It is a diverse group of people, all sharing an interest in hymns. There are about 450 individual members (and over 50 subscribing libraries and other institutions). Some have a special interest in words and/or music, there are hymn writers, composers, hymn book editors; many members are responsible for the choice of hymns in worship, others are hymn enthusiasts or simply enjoy singing hymns.


Short Guides

A number of brief papers on different aspects of hymnody which may be of interest and use to anyone with a love of hymns

The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland

For anyone who enjoys, sings, plays, chooses, introduces, studies, teaches or writes hymns…

Go to the Short Guides

80 Treasures

A carefully selected collection of Treasured articles from the past 80 years of the Hymn Society of Great Britain & Ireland's Bulletins

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