To mark 230 years (29 March 2018) since the death of Charles Wesley (right), Singing the Faith Plus asked you to say which of his 79 hymns in Singing the Faith was your favourite. From your responses, we have learnt that:
Many of us love our Wesley hymns too much to choose only one
(so our results have been calculated in terms of “mentions” rather than strict order of preference)
Outside the top four, other Wesley hymns were lucky to get a couple of mentions, let alone a handful. Nevertheless. .. . .
Methodists are suckers for the underdog, so several hymns got a single mention – just to redress the balance
Tunes can create as much debate as words – in particular the great “Hereford vs. Wilton” debate (O thou who camest from above, StF 564i & StF 564ii) and the vexed question of whether Sagina is an appropriate tune for And can it be (StF 345)
In the end, nothing holds a candle to And can it be, which won our unscientific poll by a Wesleyan mile – taking just under a third of ‘votes’
"thine eye diffused a quickening ray - I woke, the dungeon flamed with light" (And can it be, StF 345)
So – by number of mentions, our top ten favourite Charles Wesley hymns of 2018 are. . .
1st And can it be (StF 345)
2nd O thou who camest from above (StF 564)
3rd O for a thousand tongues to sing (StF 364)
4th Love divine, all loves excelling (StF 503)
And in equal 5th position:
Captain of Israel’s host, and guide (StF 459)
Christ, whose glory fills the skies (StF 134)
Hark, the glad sound! The Saviour comes (StF 171)
Hark! The herald-angels sing (StF 202)
Let earth and heaven agree (StF 358)
Let earth and heaven combine (StF 208)
For more of what was said about Charles Wesley hymns, read Charles Wesley hymns – what they get us talking about.
Listen to the Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler speaking about Charles Wesley's genius as a hymn writer in Methodist Church podcasts.