Autumn leaves

Secretary’s Newsletter 86 Autumn 2020

The Secretary’s Newsletter:

No.86: Autumn 2020
From the Secretary:
Revd Robert A. Canham
CA12 5SZ
Phone: 017687 78054
Email: Please see our Contact page

The Hymn Society Website:

The Hymn Society of Gt Britain and Ireland

Hymn of the Day – Advent to Epiphany Information and Request for Participation

Following the success of ‘Hymn for the Day’ throughout July, and given the continuing persistence of Covid-19 with little end in sight, we are initiating a further series: ‘Hymn of the Day – Advent to Epiphany’. This will run from Advent Sunday (November 29th) through to Epiphany (January 6th); a sequence of 39 hymns/carols for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, prepared by members.

There has been an excellent response to our email request for submissions, but if you have not yet responded, or are not on our emailing list and would like to participate in this or a future series, please contact our Executive President, Janet Wootton:

Revd Dr Janet Wootton
Flat 5, River Court,
16a River Street,

As previously, the series will be available via our website (address above) and Facebook; please enrich your Christmas preparations by following it each day (far more rewarding than a chocolate Advent Calendar!) and publicise it as widely as possible.

Subscription Rates – renewals and increase in rates

Many Members’ subscriptions are renewable at the beginning of January. If yours is one of those, please note the modest increase in rates notified in my Newsletter No.85: Summer 2020. Many have already amended their bank Standing Orders but, if you have not done so, please try to do it before January 1st. If you have any doubts or queries, please contact our Treasurer, Michael Garland:

Phone: 01452 720872

We welcome new members who recently joined the Society:

Mr Brian J. Clow (Essex)
Mr Kelly Frieze (Arizona, USA)
Dr Clive Grey (West Kirby, Wirral)
Mr David Gilliland (Armagh, N. IRELAND)
Revd Mark Osborne (Paris, FRANCE)
Dr Jeremy R. Prout (Barnet, Hertfordshire)
Mr John Robinson (Merseyside)
Mr Tom Russ (Midlothian)
Revd Barbara Steadman-Allen (South Holmwood, Surrey)

We regret having to report the deaths of members:

Mr John Churchill (Keyworth, Nottingham)
Mr Kenneth Matthes (Gorleston, Norfolk)

Kenneth Matthes, known to us all as Ken, was, for many years, constant in his attendance at Conference; faithfully and unassumingly, but with his quiet, dry humour, he looked after our second-hand bookstall. He also had considerable hymnological knowledge.

From HSUSC Monthly Newsletter ‘The Stanza’

In a recent issue of The Stanza, the monthly online Newsletter of HSUSC (The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada), attention was drawn to the website of I think this may be described as an American website (please correct me if I am wrong) but, of course, being online, its reach is global. have recently introduced a brand-new feature to their website – a list of ‘Popular Hymn Tunes’ which can be accessed at: One list includes those 250 tunes most frequently published in those modern hymnals indexed by Another lists the 15 Most Popularly Browsed Tunes alongside the 15 Current Trending Tunes (ghastly modern jargon!). Interestingly, they are quite traditional lists which include such tunes as KINGSFOLD and ENGELBERG which some may find encouraging! It’s certainly worth a look.

More joy for dentists!

Following ‘a line for all dentists’ (Secretary’s Newsletter: No.85: Summer 2020), our member John Kitchen writes: “Having just read the final line from your Newsletter, I have always felt that the Dentists’ anthem should be ‘Crown him with many crowns…’”

Echoes of a Distant Music: A Life of Ronald E Lee MBE (1929-1992) by John Crothers

The above book received an excellent review by John Webber in the last Bulletin (304, Vol.22 No.11 Summer 2020 pp.463f.) but did not include details of how to obtain it. Copies are available from the author, our member John Crothers (email address on application to the Secretary). The book, including UK postage, costs £18.

Secretary’s Annual Report, Accounts and Conference 2021

The Secretary’s Report and the Accounts for the year are enclosed, having, in the absence of an AGM, been received by the Officers.

With much of the UK still in lockdown, or something akin to it, the coming year remains entirely unpredictable. We still hope it may be possible to hold our Annual Conference from Tuesday, 20th to Friday 23rd July 2021 but cannot, at present, plan anything definite. We will keep you informed as and when things may become clearer.

Premier Radio with Pam Rhodes and Noël Tredinnick

Most people with a broad access to Freeview on their TV will be able to tune in to Premier Christian Radio on channel 725. It can also be accessed in other ways – more information in a future Newsletter.

The range of programmes is eclectic and not all will be to every- body’s tastes, so select with care! However, for Hymn Society members, there is a number of hymn and music related programmes which may be of interest. The schedule can, of course, vary but, for instance, at the time of writing this coming Sunday features:

7.00–8.00 am ‘All Souls in Praise’ with Noël Tredinnick celebrating the great music and history of the All Souls Orchestra (repeated at 9.00 pm).
8.00–10.00 am ‘Hearts and Hymns’: Pam Rhodes presents ‘your favourite hymns, requests and dedications’. Part 1 usually features a guest and Part 2 comprises hymn requests with Pam often sharing how a hymn was written and maybe linking it with a bible verse.
6.00 pm Sunday Live with Pam Rhodes.

On weekdays just after the one o’clock news, there is ‘All Together Now with Pam Rhodes’ in which Pam ‘shares the nations favourite songs for this lunchtime sing-a-long.’ This is followed, at 1.45 pm by 15 minutes of ‘All Souls in Praise Bitesize’ with Noël Tredinnick which features many hymns which will appeal to Hymn Society members.

Thanks to our member, Michael Haighton, for drawing my attention to this.

New CD from John L. Bell & the Wild Goose Collective
This is God’s World (£11.99 from WGRG) Songs of praise and possibility

Dedicated to Graham Maule (1958-2019)

This is God's World CD coverThis album has been long in the making and is different from previous collections.

Although most of the words and music originate from WGRG (Wild Goose Resource Group), the talented and eclectic group of singers and instrumentalists were rehearsed and conducted by Iain McLarty, who worked co-operatively with them on some of the arrangements to produce very interesting and engaging sounds. The project was overseen by Graham Maule, sadly gone from life to Greater Life in December 2019. Very fortunately, he also sang a solo verse in one of the songs.

The accompanying songbook will be published in the next few months.

And a distant childhood memory which, unaccountably, came to me as I was walking Barney, the Labrador, recently:

What shall we do with the butter, Ma,
‘When the roll is called up yonder’?

(With both acknowledgement and apologies to James Milton Black (1856-1938) author of: ‘When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more…’)

A concluding verse for these troubled times

from a Christian Saint of former times, St Teresa of Avila, who knew much about trouble and challenge:

Nothing distress you,
nothing affright you,
everything passes,
God will abide.
Patient endeavour
accomplishes all things;
who God possesses
needs naught besides.

From ‘Nada te turbe’ St Teresa of Avila (1515-82) translated by Colin Thompson (born 1945) (Rejoice & Sing 548 / Common Praise 529)