Group magazine May 2019

For reference purposes this page contains the text only for the May 2019 issue of the Parish Magazine.  It has not been possible yet to include the pictures and illustrations.  Also there are no navigation links but if you are seeking the content it is here.


From Duncan


God gets the blame for an awful lot of stuff. And since earliest times people have asked how a loving God can possibly allow the suffering we see in the world.

Some things which cause suffering can clearly be put down to human behaviour. The current famines in Africa are mainly caused by the conflicts going on in those countries. God created all of us with a choice as to how we live our lives, and honours that choice when people choose to use it for ill. There would be no real choice unless that was the approach God takes. Without the ability to choose there would be no freedom. But there is much suffering that isn’t directly caused by other people. Why does God allow that? The question won’t go away.

The honest response is that we just don’t know.  It’s a question we cannot satisfactorily answer. One theologian, Jürgen Moltmann, comments that to offer an explanation for why bad things happen to good people is an insult to those who suffer and blasphemous to God.

But people are amazingly resilient when faced with suffering. I’m reading a book by Dave Tomlinson: “How to be a Bad Christian . . . and a Better Human Being”. He points out that on the whole the people who ask the “Why?” questions are not those who are suffering, but the onlookers. The sufferers, he argues, are more likely to be concerned with how they can find help or how they can manage.

What we really need when we suffer is not people with answers, but people willing to walk with us through whatever we experience. I know from my darkest days that the people who helped most were not those who tried to jolly me along, but those who willing to sit with me through the pain. And I believe that God walks with us too. Not long ago we were remembering the suffering of Jesus during Holy Week, and how God transformed that into something amazingly different in the resurrection. Jesus didn’t avoid the suffering – he went right through it – but as a result something so much better came to be. The phrase that sticks with me is “the Christian faith does not give us a way around tragedy: faith gives us a way through tragedy.”

Many people who have suffered turn their experiences into something really positive. Think how many charities and support groups have been set up by those who have direct experience of the conditions and situations they help others through, either in person with practical help or by providing money to help others give support.

Is that an answer to the question “why”? Maybe not - we may not be able to answer the question why satisfactorily, but all of us have the opportunity to choose how we face our suffering. Many of us struggle to be positive in the face of suffering but there are those who do manage, even in extreme circumstances. I find their example so humbling.

I’m going to end with the inspiring words of Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, who wrote this: “We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer a sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances.”



 A Saint for May

During May we remember Mother Julian, one of Norfolk’s saints. Julian lived a solitary life in the centre of Norwich and, following a severe illness, wrote down the revelations that she had of God’s love for her. These came in the form of vivid pictures and many remain familiar images today in Christian circles. She was the first female author in the English language and in her time she was sought out as a source of wisdom.

Julian lived in a time of great uncertainty. England was at war, either with others or internally, and those called to fight had little protection and no sophisticated weapons. Being wounded was usually fatal. At the same time, the plague roamed the streets of the cities and huge swathes of people died. Added to this, poverty left many hungry and struggling for survival. In the midst of this turmoil Julian had probably her most famous revelation that: “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”.

We too live in uncertain times, politically, financially and ecologically. It is hard for us to imagine a stable future and to lift ourselves out of the downward spiral into which we seem to have been sucked. Easter offers us a reminder that God’s love overcame death and that the risen Jesus offers us new life, based not in material things, but in that everlasting love. If we can find that love in our world, in our relationships and in our hearts - whatever name we have for it - then we may be able to share the hope in which Julian lived that, by and by; “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”


Thy Kingdom Come – May 25th (Ascension Day) to June 4th will see the start of a global wave of prayer including prayer gatherings in our own diocese, deanery and neighbourhood. The focus of the 10 days of prayer is the witness and evangelism of the Church.

Called to be you

Vocations Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is the Sunday set aside in the Church’s calendar to encourage all of us think about our vocation.

So, what is your vocation?  You may think that you don’t have a vocation or that vocations are the sort of thing clergy have.  But if you think that, you’re wrong.  Each of us does have a vocation.  God calls each one of us.  The question, though, is to what?

First and foremost, God calls us to change: to become more Christ-like.  We are called to live out our lives in response to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  That process began in our baptism, but it continues through prayer, through the reading of the scriptures and through the receiving of Holy Communion.  One of the constant themes in the New Testament is that lives touched by Christ were changed.  What is true for the characters of the New Testament is true for us.  As we encounter and respond to Christ, we cannot help but be changed.

But while we are called to change, we are also called to be more deeply ourselves.  God never calls us to be something or someone we’re not.  God always calls us to what we are capable of becoming.  It may be that there are parts of us which are underdeveloped or which rarely see the light of day which need to be allowed to flourish so we can be our true selves.  It may be that we have hidden gifts which need to be discovered or it may be that there is something that we have secretly always wanted to do but have not had the courage or the time to try.  Whatever it may be we need to find an outlet which will allow us to feel more excited about life or indeed to feel more alive.

St Irenaeus wrote that ‘the glory of God is a human being fully alive’.  Through the dual process of becoming more fully ourselves and of becoming more fully Christ-like, the will of God is fulfilled and the glory of God seen.  That is what Vocations Sunday is about.  You have one life.  For God’s sake and for your own, live it.

May 12th is Vocation Sunday. Is God calling you?

May 8th 1945 is the date we celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Reich, formally recognising the end of the Second World War in Europe.

The Allies had begun to overrun Germany from the west during April as Russian forces advanced from the east. On 25th April 1945, Allied and Soviet forces met at the Elbe River, the German Army was all but destroyed.

Five days later, Hitler killed his dog, his new wife Eva and then committed suicide in his Berlin bunker. His successor, Admiral Karl Doenitz, sent General Alfred Jodl to General Dwight Eisenhower's Supreme Allied Headquarters in Rheims to seek terms for an end to the war. At 2:41 a.m. on 7th May, General Jodl signed the unconditional surrender of German forces, which was to take effect from 8th May at 11:01 p.m.

After six years and millions of lives lost, the Nazi scourge was crushed and the war in Europe was finally over.

It was on this date that great celebrations took place across Europe and North America: in London over a million people celebrated the end of the European war. Crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace to cheering crowds.

Do you remember the celebrations? Write to the magazine and share your memories.



Duncan Ballard

Ashbourne Group of Parishes

Area Dean of Carsington, Diocese of Derby

01335 343825

Church Events in the Benefice of Ashbourne


10th March           Holy Trinity, Clifton           Maisie Blossom Cook

17th March           St Oswald’s                        Miriam Charlotte Wood



11th March           St Oswald’s                    Dr Paul Kirtley 67 years

18th March           St Oswald’s                    Douglas Frost, 91 years
28th March           Holy Trinity, Clifton      Gladys Hardy, 91 years

28th March           St Oswald’s                    Anthony Hall, 79 years


To arrange for Christenings, Weddings or Funerals please contact the Parish Office Tel. 01335 343052



St Oswald’s Church, Ashbourne


Sanctuary Flowers in May


May 5th                        Mrs R. Chipchase

May 12th          Mrs C. Frost

May 19th          Mrs S. Damesin

May 26th          Mrs J. Hudson


If anyone would like to donate towards the Easter Flowers in memory of loved ones please see any of the regular flower arrangers or contact Margaret Dawson 01335 342339 or

Free Community Bus

Free Community Bus collecting in Ashbourne town from 09:30 for the 10:30 Family Service at St Oswald’s Church, Ashbourne.

Bus normally runs on the 3rd Sunday of the month, although this might vary due to availability of bus driver. Future dates are:  19th May and 16 June 2019.

For more information contact Gill and Paul Elliott.  Telephone 01335 343059



The Ashbourne Branch of the Mothers’ Union meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month in St Oswald’s Church Centre at 2:30 pm and on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm at different venues.

In May we will meet on Tuesday 7th at 2.30 pm when the topic will be ‘Hymns we use as Prayers’ and on the 16th in the evening we have another murder mystery ‘Murder at the Manor’ when Lindsay Walker will be the host.

A warm welcome to anyone wishing to join us either in the afternoon or in the evening.  Please contact the Branch Leader:  Nancy Bell on 01335 347915

Don’t forget breakfast church at St Oswald’s Church Centre:  This month it will be held on Sunday 12th May.  God, a bacon butty and a fresh mug of coffee – all welcome. 9h00 – 9h40



THE PARISH MAGAZINE No. 17 MAY 1874.  The magazines for each month were bound into a single volume for the year. 

The price was 2d. per month or 2s. per annum.

On the inside cover was the calendar for the month listing the services and the hymns for each day of the month. Also noted “The Offerings on Whitsun-Day at 8 for the Poor, at 11:30 and 6:30 for the Schools.  On other Sundays in the Month at 8 for the Poor, at 11 and 6.30 for Church expenses”.  The following four pages were about John Wycliffe A.D. 1321-1384.  There followed Chapters III and IV of a story entitled “Eight per Cent” and a two-page article with drawings on Crocodiles in India.  This was followed by five pages on “Obsolete Words in the Bible and Prayer-book”, a poem entitled “Winter and Spring”, a short prayer, a “Short Sermon” of three pages on “Rich and Poor” by The Right Reverend Edmund Hobhouse, D.D., Bishop and two pages entitled “Offertories, Anthems, and Hymns appointed to be sung in Ashburne Church during the month of May, 1874”.

There followed The Parish Registers, April, 1874 (Baptism 1, Marriage 1 and Burials 8 including George Mayer, Union Workhouse, 8 years and Martha Birch, Union Workhouse, 84 years).  The Offertory for April totalled £5.11s.4d. for the Poor, £39.5s.9d. for Church expenses giving a total of £44.17s.1d.

After reports on Easter Vestry Meetings there was a longish article on The Easter Decorations – “The nave, arcade, the tower arches, and the transept arcades were not decorated his year in consequence of an edict from the Vicar that in future no nails must be driven into the stone ……The decorators seemed determined not to relieve themselves of an trouble or labour, and lavished even more than their usual care on the chancel, the galleries, the windows, the screen of the Lady-chapel, and indeed on every other portion of the Church which could be decorated with effect”.

This wonderful volume was lent to me by Mr Charles Haycock.  I hope to be able to bring you other entries as the year goes on.

Tissington Well Dressings~
Cake Stall
30 May – 2 June 2019


Each year the ACT One World Group organises a stall at the Tissington Well Dressings. We sell slices of cake to the visitors and a selection of Traidcraft goods. The proceeds go to Christian Aid. We have been doing this since 1983 and in that time our group has raised over £50,000 for Christian Aid.


Every year, tens of thousands of visitors come to see Tissington’s Well Dressings – which many think are the best the county (and, I would suggest, the world!).


This year we are there from Thursday 30 – Sunday 2 June. We hope you will be able to help and we would especially welcome new people. We need at least 2 people at a time in 2-hour stints from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. That makes 6 or more people per day and so a minimum of 24 people over the 4 days!! The effort is all worthwhile when you think of the benefit to communities around the world who are supported by Christian Aid.



No previous experience necessary. Please consider carefully and prayerfully whether you could spare a couple of hours (or more!!) to help. It is not onerous work and it is a good opportunity to meet both visitors to the Well Dressings and your fellow helpers from other churches or none. Many of the helpers make a day of it – spending a couple of hours on the cake stall, and then having a gentle walk around the village to enjoy the well dressings.


We also need people to bake cakes for the stall that we can sell by the slice, not as whole cakes.  We sell between 200 and 300 slices per day!


You may be interested to know that we’ve noticed a bit of a trend in the cakes that sell well. People seem particularly keen to have a slice of Victoria sponge or chocolate cake. Slices of fruit loaf or tea loaf also sell well.


After Easter there will be lists in the various churches for staffing the stall and for providing cakes.  Please try and help this very worthwhile event. For more information contact Janet Wright (telephone 01335 346506).


And if you don’t feel you can help with baking or staffing a cake stall, how about helping in the car park for a couple of hours? We are very lucky that the Sir Richard allows us to have the cake stall at the village, so if we can offer some help with the parking, that would be wonderful.


If you are new to the area you can find out about the Well Dressings at


John Hurfurt  Tel 01335 342859  email








St Mary’s Church, Mappleton


5th May                        Holy Communion – Duncan Ballard

12th May          Matins – Mike Warner

19th May          Matins – Linda Herbert

26th May          Matins – Linda Herbert


Monday 13th May - St. Oswald’s Church Luncheon



Coffee morning - Wednesday





Choral Music at St Oswald’s


Sunday 5th May                      Third Sunday of Easter         

10.30   Parish Communion      Now the green blade riseth

6.30     Evensong                     Day by Day/How

                                                The strife is e’er/Ley


Sunday 12th May                    Fourth Sunday of Easter

                                                The Good Shepherd

  1. Parish Communion      Sheep may safely graze/Bach                                                              Psalm 23

6.30     Choral Evensong         Canticles-Walmisley in D minor


                                                To Thee O Lord/Rachmaninoff

                                                The Lord is my Shepherd/Schubert


Sunday 19th May                    5th Sunday of Easter  

10.30   Parish Communion      I give you a new commandment/Aston

6.30     Evensong                     Make me a clean heart O God/Ley

                                                Greater Love/Ireland


Sunday 26th May                    6th Sunday of Easter; Rogation Day 

10.30   Parish Communion      Laudate Dominum/Taize

6.30     Evensong                     Thou visitest the earth/Greene

                                                The heavens are telling/Haydn


Thursday 30th                                     Ascension Day

4.00     Communion                for Ascension at St Oswald’s

with the RSCM Ilam residential course


Thank you

Michael Halls

Director of Music


at St Oswald’s Church

THURSDAYS at 1.30 pm


6th June            Roger and Judy Harrison and friends


13th June          The Witchell Trio

Jenny Kelly and friends


20th June          Michael Halls and Rob Morton

                                    Piano Duets


27th June          Stanton Waits Consort

                                    Ros Taylor and friends


4th July             QEGS Sixth form Musicians


11th July           Cathy Lamb

                                    Organ Recital


Donations welcomed for the work of St Oswald’s church


Thank you.

Michael Halls

Director of Music

Holy Trinity Church, Clifton


We met for our April meeting on a lovely spring evening and our speaker completed it with beautiful spring flowers.

We went through all our business section covering a report on the recent Group Meeting, hosted by Clifton, which had been a great success. Our financial position was discussed and various future social events mentioned.

The speaker was Linda Torr and she demonstrated very clearly how to make flower arrangements and a hand tie.

The first arrangement was with calla lilies, double daffodils, yellow button chrysanths, and statis with a few sprigs of rosemary.  The second arrangement had greenery with parrot tulips, iris, statis and freesias and double daffodils and was all arranged in a large bowl and finished off with a small white rabbit to symbolize Easter.  The third was a hand tie full of pink and purple flowers and we were shown how to make a large bow to finish it off.

At the end of the evening the arrangements were raffled off and three lucky winners went home with the beautiful arrangements.


Next month will be our AGM when the resolutions are voted for and a new committee will be voted on and new president chosen.  The meeting takes place on Wednesday, 8th May, 2019 at 7.15 pm in Clifton-Smith Hall.  Anyone wishing to join our WI should contact Tina Harbinson (president) on 01335 343749 or Phyl Kirkman (Secretary) 01335 343498.



The May lunch will take place on Wednesday 29th May, 2019 at The Lilacs at 12.30 pm.  Please contact Mrs. Harbinson by 27th May, on 01335 343749 if you would like to attend. 




5th May                10.30 am     Holy Communion

12th May              10.30 am     Morning Prayer

19th May              10.30 am     Morning Prayer

26th May              10.30 am     Morning Prayer


Tina Harbinson



Saturday March 30th 2019.

Inevitably as our group has done so much walking over several years, some of the paths trodden and areas covered are revisited. This was the case this month – no problem with that, especially on such a lovely sunny Spring day.

Minninglow was our destination, and our starting point the village of Parwich. From here to Ballidon quarry involved a gentle climb up Monsdale Lane, completely empty of traffic. Across then to the public right of way alongside the quarry workings (thankfully silent at the weekend) to Roystone Grange, the old monastic sheep farming settlement with its chapel-like engine house. From there it was an easy uphill path through the fields to the tumulus on Minninglow Hill (372metres) – a coffee stop with a magnificent view!

Our route ahead was clear: down to the High Peak Trail, to be followed as far as the car park near Gotham, and thence north eastwards along Cardlemere Lane, branching off at Uppermoor Farm, now a very smart looking holiday cottage complex. A series of fields took us directly back south to Parwich. It was a surprise to discover the many quaint and interesting buildings in a previously unexplored part of the village, including the imposing Parwich Hall, once the local hospital.

Total distance: 8 miles; total ascent: 900 feet

It was a slightly shorter walk than usual to give us all time to prepare for our evening engagement: a “Bring and Share Supper”, followed by a meeting to discuss plans for our next long-distance walk. We have decided to head for Scotland again, and to tackle the Cateran Trail in Perthshire. Anyone interested in joining us for all or any part of the walk should contact any member of the Walking Group for details.

Jackie Burns.



Please join us in June to find out about
Home Groups

In June we will be offering all those in the Ashbourne churches the opportunity to learn about being part of a home group.

We will meet in the St Oswald’s Church Centre to watch a video and then study the New Testament book of Philippians on the four Wednesdays in June from 7.30pm.  After the video we will break for tea/coffee and homemade cakes before breaking into small groups to discuss the video and the Bible.

After the four weeks there will be the opportunity to join a home group – some will be aimed at those new to the church, some for those who want a day time group and others during the evening.

If you are interested in being part of home groups, or just want to find out more, please email for a link to sign up via Eventbrite.  (Event management and ticketing website.)



















April 2019








at St Oswald’s Church

May 2019

What a beautiful Spring! 

Families that come to Edward Bear cannot help but notice the daffodils and blossom as they make their way into the Church Centre, to be greeted by Lynne and to smell the bacon rolls and fresh coffee. Such a start to anyone’s day!

Edward Bear offers parents and carers the chance to sit and relax in a safe place with their children.  Parents can make new friendships, share common interests whilst watching their children have fun through play. There is a quiet private space for nursing mothers.

Edward Bear starts at 9.30am (although parents are welcome earlier after dropping their older children off at school). Families start to arrive and the Church Centre is bustling with up to 25 babies and children and their parents and carers – not to mention the volunteers.


The theme of the day – recently ‘Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey’ is worked upon by some of the mothers and children at the craft table, these drawings, paintings and words can then be displayed in church, acting as a backdrop for our story telling. This particular week we also carried large palm leaves into church laying them on the chancel floor for ‘our Jesus and his donkey’ to walk upon. Working together in this way offers all of us the chance to create meaning, to discuss Christianity and its relevance for us here today.

We have continued to run an Edward Bear ‘drop in’ through the Easter holidays and have been delighted to see some of our older children, now at school return to see us. They quickly get back into the routine of the morning, bringing with them such love and happiness. We had an Easter Egg hunt in the church which caused lots of fun and laughter.

We always celebrate birthdays with cake, candles and singing but this month Luke celebrated his 3rd birthday and once again Reina and Brian provided Edward Bear with a birthday lunch of noodles, pastries, home-made cakes and goodies. A big thank you from us all.

We now are ready for a planning meeting with the team of volunteers, sorting a programme that will take us into the summer. We will come together as a team and share lunch whilst devising a programme to include Teddy parachuting, a toddle through the tunnel and a trip to the Farm at Burton. We also will be identifying new toys to buy and replace.

Edward Bear meets every Thursday morning 9.30am – 11.30am in St Oswald’s Church Centre. For more information please contact Chris Haycock 01335 347771  email or the Parish Office 01335 343052 email


from Lizzie Hackney and Mark Hackney,

Intergenerational Missioners in Hereford Diocese

 Saturday 6th July at 10.00am in Century Hall,

 Ashbourne Methodist Church




St John’s Church, Ashbourne

Sunday Services - All at 9.15 a.m. H.C or Matins BCP - Coffee on the first Sunday of the month.


If you have a burning desire to write an article for 'our' page please submit it to Sarah.  In the meantime, ………….


Pondering over the forlorn empty shell of the boiled egg I had just eaten (a very rare part of my diet) my mind began to stray!!  I thought of the newspaper article I had read of the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, thousands of families homeless and of one person, whose only possession had been a chicken, which she was hoping to sell/exchange for food for another day.  With the chicken gone she would have nothing at all, not even an egg.  An egg can sustain us for another day, but what if there is nothing after that?  Cyclone Idai made the headlines for a few days, we witnessed the lives of the homeless (I have travelled the road to Beira, bombed in the days I was there, but we were able to avoid the craters and find the road again).  Nothing like the devastation it is today. The DEC system kicked in and huge amounts of aid were despatched - yes it will help, but at what cost of life, and how soon we move on and forget.  We have witnessed the shops full of exotic chocolate eggs but hope and pray that Easter meant much more than that.


Yes, I am of an age when perhaps I am slipping into Duncan's stagnant pond, I do however try to keep my floaters on!  However, memories can be good, remembering the egg my sister and I had to take, (one each) for a lady in the village to boil for us for our school dinner (no canteen and one fire).  It is sometimes good to get back to the basics of life and realise how good that can be.


Also looking back, we were able to share Janet's wonderful eulogy to her dear Anthony. A quiet, modest, country man, he would have been amazed at the number of friends gathered at St. Oswald's on a lovely spring day and what a journey it must have been to return Anthony to his beloved Waterfall. RIP Anthony we will always remember you.


A lot has been happening in St. John's this year with the replacement of the sanctuary floor - how interesting that has been.  All is now back in order, although we did enjoy the closeness of the Alter.  The church doors will remain open during the summer and we look forward to welcoming visitors.


The AGM went ahead very successfully with a full sitting and we look forward to a new exciting year?  Thanks were in abundance for past, present and the future.  Our thanks to Duncan and Amanda for their time shared with us at this meeting.


A bring and share get together is planned to take place in the church hall on the afternoon of May 4th to look at how we can take our church forward.  More details in the Pew News.


Be Still for the presence of the Lord is moving in this place.


Monica Cope



St Mary and St Barlok, Norbury and Roston

Next meeting is on Tuesday 7th May 2019.  Meet at Mary Clowes (Norbury) Village Hall at 7.30 pm.  The evening will be a “Wimbledon Evening” when the speaker will be Jane Rushby. Visitors always welcome. Please contact  - telephone 01335 324980


Chinese Auction Success:  the recent Chinese Auction was very successful with over £300 being raised towards maintenance and improvements to the village hall.

Jubilee Group:  Advance notice - this year’s June walk and barbeque will be held on 7th June. 


5th May                        11 am Morning Prayer

12th May          11 am Morning Prayer

19th May          11 am Holy Communion

26th May          11 am Morning Prayer




If you enjoy reading The Parish Magazine each month – how about subscribing??


The cost of each issue is 60p but you can have the 10 annual copies for £5 and have them delivered to your door or pick them up at St Oswald’s.

We strive to make the magazine as interesting and informative as possible – church events, local events and monthly information for the parishes.

Please contact Susan Damesin for more information – address and phone number on back cover of this magazine.

Ashbourne Animal Welfare


“May Open Day & Fun Dog Show”

Sunday 12th May 2019 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Ark, Wyaston Rd, Ashbourne DE6 1NB

Dog show starts 12:30 pm
Classes include Waggiest Tail, Top Dog, Most Handsome Dog
Prettiest Bitch, Best Expression, Best Puppy, etc.

Visit the cattery and kennels
Homemade lunches and teas - Gifts, Books, Bric a Brac - Free Admission

Tel 01335 300494 for more info

What Hymns Mean to Me

Di Deighton


"Daisies are our silver
Buttercups our gold.
This is all the treasure
We can have or hold."

This is one of the first hymns I can remember being taught in the infant class of my primary school, it has stayed with me for over eighty years. I expect everyone reading this magazine has similar memories of old favourites which are bound up in childhood and which bring a stab of nostalgia for old happy times and sad ones too. The important stages in life are often marked by the appropriate hymn for the occasion. How wonderful it is that these old friends of words and music can arouse these feelings in us.

Hymns mark the passing of the seasons like no other form of expression, we are so lucky to have such a rich fund to draw on. My friend, Linda, and I, sitting in our pew, often smile to each other at the words we have just sung, marvelling at their wisdom and beauty. Of course, sometimes they are quaintly old-fashioned or too militaristic, but who cares? The tunes are terrific!  Most hymns carry a message which can help us "through all the changing scenes of life", if we let them. 

Having been lucky enough to sing in choirs for most of my life, I get satisfaction from singing with other people, it just seems such a good way of sharing the fellow feeling and good order of life. For example, would we sing "We plough the fields and scatter" as a Christmas Carol? No, of course not.  Would we sing, "for those on peril on the sea" at a Christening? No, of course not. Would we sing "The King of love my Shepherd is," at a wedding? Yes, of course we would. Funerals are in a special category. As soon as the music starts, tears are shed - right and proper and necessary at the departure of a loved one.

Where have all these hymns come from? Thanks to clever compilations such as Moody and Sankey, Hymns Ancient and Modern, The English Hymnal, Common Praise, and many others along the way, we have this great legacy of the works of for example, Abelard (1079-1142), Watts (1674-1748), Wesley(1707-1788), Alexander(1818-95) and Bell(born 1949).

These have been my Hymn Sheets.

Let's all sing from the same one, thanking God for this great resource.