The Secretary’s Newsletter: No.52: Spring 2012

Secretary’s Newsletter 52 Spring 2012

The Secretary’s Newsletter:

No.52: Spring 2012
From the Secretary:
Revd Robert A. Canham
CA12 5SZ
Email: Please see the Contact page

Subscription Renewals

Renewal of subscriptions were due on 1st January 2012 at the revised rates agreed at the 2010 AGM. The new rates are as follows:

Single UK Membership £17.50
Couples UK £22.50

For those who wish to avail themselves of it, there is also a new, Ten Year subscription rate of £150.00 for Single Membership and £200.00 for Couples.

The Full-time Student rate UK remains at £7.50

For Overseas subscribers the new rates are:

Paying in Sterling through a UK Bank:

Single Membership £20.00
Couples £25.00

Paying through a non-UK bank whatever the currency:

Single Membership £28.00
Couples £33.00

If you have not already done so, please send your renewal payment to the Honorary Treasurer:

Revd James Dickinson
1 Abbey Croft, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S41 9SB
Phone: 01246 551370 Email:

Those paying by Banker’s Order will need to amend their instructions to their bank!

Retirement and a New address for the Secretary

The Secretary retired from fulltime ministry at Trinity United Reformed Church, Lancaster on 29th April 2012 and now lives at the new address detailed above. The change of email address was notified in a previous Newsletter. The crinkly top of Causey Pike can now be viewed when Alfie and Bailey, two Labradors, are taken for their morning walk!

The carpet salesman requests…

As part of our move some replacement carpets were required.

Talking about The Hymn Society with the young man who was selling us the carpets (as one does!), he mentioned a hymn which they used to sing at School Assemblies (I imagine in the 1970’s/80’s and probably in the North West). The first line is this, or similar:

The golden cockerel crows in the morning

Does anyone know the full words/tune and any book in which it may be found? If so, please get in touch with the Secretary, either by email or at his new address, of course!

We welcome new members who recently joined the Society:

Mr Maurice B. Gilford (Hingham, Norwich, Norfolk)
Mr Geoffrey M. Heap (Aston Juxta Mondrum, Cheshire)
Revd Canon Rosemary Nixon (Durham)
Mrs Francesca G. M. Jessop (Bournemouth, Dorset)

2012 Annual Conference, Lancaster

As you will know from the January mailing, this year’s Annual Conference is taking place from Tuesday, July 24th to Thursday, July 26th at Lancaster University and speakers include theologian, broadcaster and author, Revd Dr Ian Bradley, whose theme will be Trust in God and Onward Christian Soldiers ~ the hymn tunes of Arthur Sullivan; Ken Bowden on The hymns and hymn writers of Lancashire; a review of the new Methodist Hymn Book Singing the Faith by Martin Ellis; and William Booth by Gordon Taylor. There will also be a session by The Gladly Solemn Sound, a West Gallery group based in Lancaster and Short Metre. Although the deadline is stated as 30th April, it is still possible to book a place but it needs to be done swiftly! So please fill in your form and return it to Gordon Taylor or, if you have mislaid it, you can either download it from the Society website or get in touch with the Secretary (at his new address!) and he will send you a copy.

And the winner was…

We offer our congratulations to our member, Mr John S. Yolland (Brixham, Devon), whose hymn submission won the Open Class in the hymn writing competition for the 12th Settle Methodist Circuit Hymn Festival. The Circuit Class winner was Revd Bryan Yardy.

This year’s 13th Festival will be held from 9th–11th November 2012 and details of the hymn writing competition will be available from 1st May onwards, either on the circuit website or from the organizer, Mrs Jane Mansergh, Bank Court, Castle Hill, Settle, North Yorkshire BD24 9EU. Phone: 01729 823502.

Baptist history: the hidden treasure of a nation and beyond A request for help…

A consultancy team (including Katharine Chant and Christina Dixon) is working with the Angus Library, Regents Park College, Oxford, on their Heritage Lottery Fund project – Baptist history: the hidden treasure of a nation and beyond. The Angus library holds the collection of The Psalms and Hymns Trust—an extensive hymnody collection from various denominations and cultures (about 3000 items in all).

They wish to establish the significance of the collection. Initial research suggests that the Trust was registered in 1965 and was essentially a publishing body that ceased in 2003. However, the origins of the work of the Trust (and the collection), go back to the 17th and 18th century expansion of hymn singing and specifically to the 19th century Baptist hymn book “Psalms and Hymns”. Less certain is whether the collection comprises works published by The Psalms and Hymns Trust or whether there was a movement to collect hymn books generally. Neither is it known whether the collection is replicated in other libraries.

An important aspect of the project is about learning and engagement and whether this collection could be a useful learning resource e.g. as an adult learning course, a choir project, or public lecture etc. Does such a demand exist? Finally and most importantly, the consultancy team is seeking to build a skilled volunteer force for the Angus and is wondering whether any of the Society’s members could assist in helping to list, research and digitize the collection.

If you may be able to help, or are interested in finding out more, please contact Katharine Chant, Email: or the College Librarian, Revd Emma Walsh, Email: or get in touch with the Secretary.

Another hymn enquiry request

Our member, Lesley Butlland, recalls a hymn sung in the 1960’s at the centenary celebrations of Christ Church, North Finchley. The first few lines are (roughly):

Enter with thanksgiving, tread the aisles with song,
God’s own habitation, beautiful and strong.
He whose royal colour…
wrought with gleams/beams(?) of glory, crimson, gold and white.

At the time the hymn was new to them but had an old-fashioned feel compared to their usual hymn diet. It was chosen by the vicar, Revd Harold Parks, who had previously served in Blackpool so, possibly, the hymn is familiar to Lancashire members?

From the Executive Committee

Following the AGM discussion where the desirability of having both 2 and 3 day Conferences, the following is anticipated.

2013 The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick (3 days)
2014 Cheltenham (2 days)
2015 The International Hymn Conference in Cambridge (this will last for a week but with the possibility of staying for a shorter time).
2016 Aberdeen (2 days).

A planning committee, chaired by Michael Garland, has been established to plan the 2015 International Conference.

A further group has been established to prepare a policy statement on the reserves and investments of the Society. It hopes to consult shortly with a view to presenting the paper at the 2012 AGM.

A series of Short Guides

The Publications Committee has initiated a series of “Hymn Society Short Guides” for the web site. The idea is to produce a number articles which are available for anyone to download whether a member or not. Go to and click on one of the titles below to download the PDF
No 1 – What is the point of singing hymns?
No 2 – What types of hymns and songs are available?
No 3 – Which hymns and songs should we use?
No 4 – Which hymn belongs where in the Service?
No 5 – How can we encourage the use of hymns in worship?
No 6 – What makes a good hymn?

If you wish to print this newsletter out please open the PDF file here.