Treasure No 67: Mrs Alexander

The years between seven and fifteen are important in everyone’s life. With little Fanny Humphreys this was a time when three absolutely fundamental characteristics emerged. These would remain notable throughout her long life and grow ever stronger. The first was a compulsion—a necessity for her to write verses almost every day. The second trait was an acute awareness of the …

Treasure No 65: Hymnody and Belonging

Part 2: The Music of Hymnody   [This article is condensed from part of the dissertation presented by Mr Deans in November 1998 for his M.Th. degree at Westminster College, Oxford. The original title was ‘Hymnody and Belonging: an Examination of Effective Uses of Christian Hymns in Ministry to the Confused Elderly’. However, the present article is of more general …

Treasure No 64: The English Hymn (review)

The new book certainly deserves to achieve the classic status of Benson’s earlier work, but for different reasons. Despite an interval of eighty-two years the difference in historical scope is somewhat less than one might expect. Both writers naturally start with the metrical psalmody of the Reformation and Benson concluded with a detailed look at what was, for him, very …

Treasure No 63: The Hymnologist’s Bookshelf

Actually, our title is a touch inaccurate since, as before, we write not for the dedicated scholar but for the ordinary hymn-lover and hymn-user who probably has neither time nor inclination to delve into specialist libraries. We therefore confine attention to items that are fairly readily accessible. And, if only to keep the survey to a reasonable length, we can …

Treasure No 62: Ten Laws of Hymnal Committees

There is material here for massive research and a multi-volume series. Here is simply a taster of the delights lying ahead for the keen student. Compared with some veterans of this society, my experience is scanty. I was on one such committee for ten years which seemed like a hundred; that was a major hymnal. I have chaired or have …