The Secretary’s Newsletter: No.59: Winter 2014

Secretary’s Newsletter 59 Winter 2014

The Secretary’s Newsletter:

No.59: Winter 2014
From the Secretary:
Revd Robert A. Canham
CA12 5SZ
Email: Please see the Contact page

The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology was launched in Bristol on 19th/20th October 2013. It is the result of ten years’ work initiated by Prof. J. R. (Dick) Watson, one of our Honorary Vice-Presidents. The monumental nature of this accomplishment was encapsulated in the opening lecture, co-presented with Dick Watson, by American hymn book editor, composer and Emeritus Professor of Church Music, Carlton R. Young who said: “During this conference we move from the Post-Julian era of hymnological studies into the Watson era.” A large part of the current issue of The Bulletin is focused on it.

Accessing the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology

Following discussions with the publishers, Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd, we are delighted that they have agreed that the Society qualifies for a subscription as an Institution. We should, therefore, be able to offer access to individual members of The Hymn Society via the website Members’ Area. This benefit will be available to individual members only. Libraries, universities etc. will need to take out their own subscriptions as institutions. The technicalities of setting up access are presently being researched and it is hoped to report further in the Spring (April) Newsletter.

Hymn Society Conference 2014

With this mailing you will receive your Booking Form for our 2014 Conference. This year it is taking place in the historic and delightful surroundings of Cirencester Agricultural University (which has occasionally featured on Radio 4’s Farming Today at 5.45 am!). As previously notified, it begins this year on Wednesday 30th July and concludes lunchtime Friday August 1st. Once again, we have some good speakers lined up. Please come if you can and get your booking in as soon as possible; it helps greatly in getting things organised.

We welcome new members who recently joined the Society

Professor Jeremy C. & Mrs Alison J. Dibble (Coxhoe, Durham)
Mr Keith Hartley (High Bentham, Lancaster, Lancashire)
Revd Sue Phillipson-Masters (Thornbury, Bristol)
Mr John F. Sanderson (Marshfield, Chippenham, Wiltshire)

We regret having to report members’ deaths

Prof. John R. Crookall (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire)
Revd Edgar Landen (Tiverton, Devon) Revd Dennis E. Ferguson (Carlisle, Cumbria) Revd Geoffrey H. Sansome (Preston, Lancashire)
Mr Harry J. Twine (London)

The New Room ~ new hymn-writing CHALLENGE 275

To celebrate 275 years in which the work of John and Charles Wesley has spread around the globe from its beginning at The New Room in Bristol, a challenge is being issued, inviting musicians and poets to provide a new Hymn in one of the following categories:

Words only
Words and Tune
Tune for existing Words
On the theme “Tell the world…

Words and/or music should be submitted to The New Room, 36, The Horsefair, BRISTOL BS1 3JE by 1st June 2014 together with an entry fee of £5.00 per hymn and/or tune. A panel of assessors will appraise the entries and those selected will be published in a special Book. Writers/Composers whose works are selected will receive a copy of the Book and retain the copyright of their work, but the Trustees of the New Room will have the right to use those submitted in any way they wish. For further information:


Membership Subscription Renewals

Thanks to all those who have already renewed their subscriptions for 2014. For those who have not, they are now due. Rates remain unchanged as follows: UK Single Membership: £17.50 (couples £22.50); Mainland Europe (paying in Sterling through a UK Bank): Single Membership £20.00 (Couples £25.00); Mainland Europe (paying in Euros through a non-UK bank): Single Membership €30.00 (couples €36.00); Rest of the World (paying in Sterling through a UK Bank): Single Membership £25.00 (Couples £30.00); Rest of the World (paying in $ through a non-UK bank): Single Membership $53.00 (Couples $61.00). For those who are IAH or HSUSC members through us the cost is an additional £9.00 and/or £20.00 respectively. Please help us by paying promptly! Cheques, payable to The Hymn Society of Gt Britain & Ireland should be sent to the Treasurer: Revd Canon Michael Garland, 63 Church Street, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham GL53 8AT

2015 International Conference—three ways you can help

We only host the International Hymn Society Conference once in every 18 years and so we need to make sure it is a success! It is going to take place in the prestigious city of Cambridge, a really attractive venue, at Robinson College which affords excellent facilities.

There are three ways in which you can help:

  1. Book the dates (Sun. July 26th – Sat. Aug. 1st). Conference begins on the Sunday; it should be possible to come from Sunday to Wednesday if you really cannot stay the full time.
  2. We hope to open a booking website soon (more info. in the next Newsletter). We need provisional bookings as soon as possible as it is essential that we know who is coming. We also need a deposit (we have already paid one and a further substantial one is due at the beginning of 2015).
  3. There will be some members who, for various reasons, will be unable to come. If that is the case, would you please consider making a donation to the Conference Fund and send it to our Treasurer, Michael Garland (address above). Any amount, small or large will be gratefully received.
Where can it be found?

The tune GRESFORD was composed by Robert Saint, a Durham Miner, in response to the Gresford Colliery disaster in 1934. Our member, David Lee, has transcribed the tune and harmonised it, but he and another of our members, Brian Shaw, would like to locate a copy of the full score as it was originally written, preferably in SATB if such a thing exists! If anybody can help, please contact the Secretary.

The Seven Churches of Asia ~ a hymnic response

Whilst our member, Michael Haighton, was on a tour of the Seven Churches of Asia, the group leader commented that he knew of no hymn relating to them and suggested that Michael might write one. He subsequently penned a nine verse hymn (one verse at the beginning, one at the end, and one for each of the Seven Churches), to be sung to the tune Montgomery, though there will be other 11 11 11 11 metre tunes (such as St Denio) which might be equally suitable. Below are the first, fourth and final verses. Obviously not all the verses need to be sung at one time!

The Alpha Omega the great Churches Head
the One who had died but arose from the dead,
now walks in his Churches, bright lampstands so clear,
and speaks by his Spirit to all who will hear.

The Church in Thyatira faced Christ’s blazing gaze.
He knew they were lacking in holiness ways.
As then, Christ still searches deep into each heart,
and longs for his Spirit to cleanse every part.

The Church in each age needs to learn as we read
of these seven churches, their words and each deed.
For Christ is still living, the First and the Last,
the Lord of the future as well as the past.
© Michael Haighton

The full text may be obtained from the Secretary or directly from Michael: Email:

A Cause for Carolling

Some of you may have heard the above-named series of 15 minute programmes on BBC Radio 4 following The World at One during the fortnight leading up to Christmas. Given by the choral conductor and scholar, Jeremy Summerly who is, amongst other things, the Royal Academy of Music’s Senior Academic Studies Lecturer, the series told the story of the Christmas Carol in Britain in an interesting and informative way from Medieval times through to how the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast from Kings College Cambridge every year, came about. We must hope for a repeat broadcast of the Series—A Cause for Carolling—indeed!

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