2020 summer

Secretary’s Newsletter 85 Summer 2020

The Secretary’s Newsletter:

No.85: Summer 2020
From the Secretary:
Revd Robert A. Canham
CA12 5SZ
Phone: 017687 78054
Email: Please see our Contact page

The Hymn Society Website: www.hymnsocietygbi.org.uk

The Hymn Society of Gt Britain and Ireland

New Subscription Rates to take effect from January 2021

There will be a modest increase in Subscription Rates effective 1st January 2021, as endorsed by the 2019 AGM. It was back in 2016 that rates were last reviewed, so we hope that members will not find this present review too great an imposition. For those who pay by Standing Order, please see the enclosed paper from the Treasurer which needs your urgent attention.

UK Subscriptions
Single Membership £25.00 Couples £30.00 Students £12.00

Additional Rates to the above for Joint Memberships
IAH + additional £10.00 HSUSC + additional £20.00

Other UK Options
5 year Subscription £115.00 (Single) £130.00 (Couples)
10 year Subscription £230.00 (Single) £260.00 (Couples)

Mainland Europe including Republic of Ireland Subscriptions
Single Membership £30.00 Couples £35.00

Overseas Rates Worldwide Subscriptions
Single Membership £35.00 Couples £40.00
(US $ rates available on request)

Library Rates
UK £35.00 Europe and Worldwide £55.00 (US $ rates on request)

Addendum from our Web Coordinator, Ken Cope:

In preparing back-Bulletins for the website I noticed that in 1951 the subscription costs were 5/- The current rate of inflation on this is just over 3,000% or £30 in current money. So (even at the revised rates) the current subscription cost is lower in comparison to 1951!

‘Vintage Hymns’: Report of a Regional Event on 7th March which took place at St Mary The Virgin, Primrose Hill, London

Claire Wilson writes: Those attending found much to enjoy that afternoon, including some surprises. We were invited on arrival to form an impromptu choir and seat ourselves accordingly. There was encouragement from the start to share our thoughts and questions as various ‘vintage hymns’ were introduced by Phil Price and Nicholas Markwell then sung. They evoked childhood memories for many of us. The challenge “Hands up, all who remember this one,” provided a humorously competitive element, and I admit to a degree of self­satisfaction at still being able to sing from memory Summer suns are glowing and Hushed was the evening hymn.

Interesting insights were shed on some early texts. All things bright and (originally) beauteous, included v.3, the contents of which have been diplomatically deleted in most hymn books over the years:

The rich man in his castle
The poor man at his gate:
God made them, high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.

Nicholas enabled us to recognize, not a socially unacceptable perspective on life, but rather the author’s own vision, which sweepingly and affirmingly places the whole spectrum of humanity within the embrace of the Creator God. Together, Nicholas and Phil communicated an infectious enthusiasm for the chosen hymns, along with many enlightening revelations about their history and periods of greatest popularity. The programme, which had structure but also allowed for spontaneity, was effective. John Webber and Terence Atkins manifestly enjoyed their duet-ing, providing the piano accompaniment specifically requested by Phil and Nicholas.

The venue was inspiring: St Mary-the-Virgin, Primrose Hill, where Percy Dearmer worked with Ralph Vaughan Williams compiling The English Hymnal (1906); where a congregation first sang Who would true Valour see and Dear Lord and Father of mankind, (both featuring in ‘Vintage Hymns’). The support of the vicar, Prebendary Marjorie Brown, and the delicious refreshments served in classic china cups, were much appreciated.

This was an occasion planned for learning, reaching back into a remembered past, and discovering new facts about some still well- known hymns. We listened, we sang, we asked questions. Yet I imagine I wasn’t alone in sensing a divine presence encompassing, accompanying and uplifting us all.

We welcome new members who recently joined the Society:

Mr Aidan Baker (Cambridge)
Mr David Hopkins (Broadstone, Dorset)
Mr Mark Irwin (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Miss Siân Jones (Caergwrle, Wrexham)
Pasteur Stuart Ludbrook (Colombes, FRANCE)
Mr Jonathan Marten (Chingford, London)
Ms Bebhinn Ni Mheara (Midleton, Co. Cork, REP. OF IRELAND)
Mr Gareth Moore (Peel, ISLE OF MAN)
Mr Steven Rogers (Luton, Bedfordshire)
Mr Laurence Wareing (Midlothian)
Mr Anthony Willett (Bristol, Avon)

We regret having to report the deaths of members:

Mr Norman B. Harries (Netherlong, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire)
Mr David L. Memmott (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
Dr David G. Preston (Alweston, Sherborne, Dorset)
Professor Nicholas Temperley (Urbana, Illinois USA)

We were also sad to learn of the death of Philipp Harnoncourt on 25th May at the age of 89. Brother of the well-known cellist and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Philipp was ordained Priest in the Roman Catholic Church in 1954 and had a distinguished ministry as a liturgical scholar. In 1963 he founded the Department of Church Music at the University of Graz in Austria. Philipp enjoyed a long and happy association with IAH, serving as Treasurer for many years. He was present at the first Joint Conference of our three societies in Oxford in 1981 and was a visiting speaker at our Glasgow Conference in 1989 speaking on ‘Theological Aspects of Hymnody.’

The Lambeth Awards – Congratulations!

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently announced this year’s recipients of Lambeth Awards for outstanding contributions to the Church and wider Society. Of the 32 awards, there are two of particular significance to The Hymn Society of Gt Britain & Ireland.

Our Hon. Vice President, Professor J.R. (Dick) Watson received The Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship ‘for his unparalleled contribution to the study and promotion of the use of our heritage of hymnody.’

Our member, Pam Rhodes, received a similar award ‘for her outstanding work in hosting Songs of Praise on the BBC for over thirty years.’

Our congratulations to both Pam and Dick on receiving these richly deserved awards in recognition of their work.

Hymn Society Bulletin Archives

Every Bulletin ever published, is now accessible via the Members’ Area of the Society’s website. Vol.1, No.1 (October 1937), through to Vol.16, No.2 (Bulletin 223 April 2000), are available as pdf scanned page images of the original Bulletin pages only and are therefore not searchable as part of the Bulletin Index as they have yet to be turned into text files. This will take place over the coming months but will take quite a long time, however, they are all now presently available to be read as a pdf resource to members.

The remaining Bulletins – 224 July 2000 to date – are available online as text on the pages and as searchable text pdf files which can be downloaded. These pdf files are as close as possible to the originals.

Our thanks to our Web Coordinator, Ken Cope, for this substantial achievement. The work goes on!

These resources are only available to current members of the Society and require a Username and Password for access to the Members’ Area. If you do not already have these, they are available from the Web Coordinator or via the Secretary.

Hymn for the Day initiative

In the absence of our Annual Conference this year, ‘Hymn for the Day’, accessible via our website and Facebook, was an impromptu response initiated by the Officers.

In all, twenty-five writers provided thirty-two reflections, covering a wide range of hymns from every age of hymnody, and in many different styles. Some reflections were accompanied by YouTube links to recordings of the hymns, some had recordings of the reflect­ions read by the writers. We covered different themes and seasons.

It appears to have been very favourably received with ‘The Hymn for the Day’ webpage being visited 3,599 times in July. The project was notified to members by email, but we only have such addresses for around one third of our members. However, if you missed it, every­thing is remaining on the website throughout August. If you haven’t already done so, please complete the brief Survey response: it can be found on the Homepage, the second button below the ‘Hymn for the Day’ sunflower.

And finally…. a line for all Dentists:

‘Change and decay in all around I see…’