14 September 2012
Happy 1st Birthday, Singing the Faith!
• Celebratory Autumn offers
One year ago, Singing the Faith was published: a collection of
840 hymns and songs, that would take an estimated forty hours to
sing from beginning to end.
The collection was published by Hymns Ancient and Modern on behalf of the Methodist Church, after seven years of deliberation, theological scrutiny, musical collaboration and editing. To date, nearly 98,000 copies have been sold across all the published editions.
Peter Brophy, who was Editor-in-Chief of Singing the Faith, said: "Having completed the editorial tasks for 'Singing the Faith' it was first of all a delight to handle the published book - all those scraps of paper, urgent emails and even more urgent phone calls now transformed into a hymnbook - a physical testament to the dedicated volunteers who worked for a Biblical seven years to bring it to fruition.
"But it has been even more of a delight to visit Methodist churches from Cornwall to Berwick-on-Tweed and from London to Lancashire during the last twelve months and be handed a copy of 'our new hymnbook' by the steward at the entrance, and then to join in worship, whether traditional or modern, using what I truly believe is a precious resource given to us by God."
The Singing the Faith Plus website offers a wide range of free resources to help people get the most out of the collection, with lectionary suggestions and creative ideas for using hymns, for singing or in other ways. The site is also fast becoming a popular platform for new hymns and an encouragement to emerging writers.
"This beautifully presented hymn book is transforming worship through the sheer diversity of the hymns and songs contained within its pages," said the Revd Dr Mark Wakelin, President of the Methodist Conference. "Singing the Faith is the one hymn and song book you have to have."
The Revd Barbara Bircumshaw, Chair of the Music Resources Group which was responsible for producing the collection, said: "I am thrilled by the success of Singing the Faith. It's great that it is being widely used by congregations around the Connexion - more than I ever dreamed possible. And it's very humbling to have played a part in bringing Singing the Faith to birth! I pray that it will be a valuable tool for worship and witness, for glorifying God and sharing the Gospel in the twenty first century."
In response to huge demand, a special one-off printing of an organ edition was organised, and a Braille version of the collection is being developed in partnership with the Torch Trust. Additionally, a 40-CD set of backing tracks for all of the hymns and songs is in production, for use by churches that do not have an organist or music group.
1. Hi-res photos to accompany the story can be found online here.
2. Additional endorsements for Singing the Faith:
"As with all good worship resources, Singing the Faith is an
enriching and exciting mixture of old and new. There are
significant international offerings and it is rooted both in sound
theology and the needs of the present age."
Vice-President of the Methodist Conference 2012/13
"God has not given up bestowing upon us gifts of creativity,
tune, rhyme and rhythm, song and harmony, profundity and poignancy,
joy, insight, beauty and truth. Singing the Faith makes this plain, capturing
all these gifts and more, and offering a rich and varied diet to God's
diverse people today."
The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins
General Secretary of the Methodist Church & Secretary of the Methodist Conference
3. You can sign up for regular newsletters, including Singing the Faith Plus here.