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

Science and the Language of Prayer

Science and the language of prayer

Bramhall Methodist Church near Stockport is running 5 seminars through the autumn. They begin in September. Part of the project involves preparing worship material including hymns. The link below takes you to their site:


Book Launch – Save The Date!

Hymn Society member, John Crothers has a new book being launched

If you happen to be anywhere near Belfast, N Ireland, on 22nd November, feel free to pop into the Cathedral in Donegall Street for 7.30pm. And tell your friends who may not be on Facebook!

The Official Launch of “Echoes of a Distant Music, a Biography of Ronnie Lee (1929-1992)” by John Crothers, with a Foreword specially contributed by Yan Pascal Tortelier, will take place in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, on Friday 22nd November at 7.30pm. Read more here.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Hymn Society member, Dr Gillian Warson offers a defence of a much maligned hymn

Church Times (No. 8170, 18 October 2019 p. 20) contains an article robustly defending Cecil Frances Alexander’s hymn, All things bright and beautiful, which has come in for sustained criticism in recent years. The article is an abbreviated version of the Lecture which Gillian delivered to The Hymn Society Conference held in Canterbury in July. The article can also be found on the Church Times website.

Expanding the Core Repertoire

At the Canterbury conference our Executive Vice-President, Martin Leckebusch, used a sectional to launch a project exploring what hymns we think should be “core” hymnody. Martin’s paper, which is printed in this quarter’s Bulletin, tells how he has identified around “core” 160 hymns which are already in most of our recent hymn books. However, Martin would like to invite everyone visiting the website, members and non-members alike, to offer other items which they feel should be added to the list. These can be suggested by following this link.

Armistice Centenary
Remembrance broadcast

Committee Member Anne Harrison was interviewed by Premier Christian Radio’s Northern Correspondent Ian Britton on Sunday 11 November at 12 noon in an hour-long programme on Hymns and the Great War. Here is a link to the recording: https://www.premier.org.uk/Across-the-UK/North-of-England/Hymns-of-the-Great-War

The Bulletins are coming!

The entire collection of Bulletins dating back to the first issue of 1937 will soon be on our archive pages for members of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland to read. Currently we go back to issue 127 - May 1973 - covering all of Andrew Pratt, Christopher Idle and Bernard Massey's time as editors and the last few issues of Erik Routley's editorship - just before he moved to America.

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

The Interactive index will continue to be updated as these Bulletins are converted to text pages.

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 October 2000 - October 2002 (Bulletins 225 - 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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