Thursday, 19 July 2007

Conference Recorder

Just had a skim thorugh the Methodist Recorder which has twenty pages of news from conference and I have to say there seems to have been some interesting stuff but one thing that amazed me and I think will be received with grave doubts by many ordinary members is the move for a new hymn book in 2010. While as a preacher and organist I can understand that the exisiting book does not really meet the needs of a changing church, I wonder if a new book will do any better and is it really a cost that many churches will either want to incur or indeed be able to. I speak to many of our members who would happily throw Hymns and Psalms away and bring back the 1936 Methodist Hymn Book.
There are so many other hymn books about and the increased use of projectors etc that a new hymn book seems a little bit counter productive to me. I really do think that there will be many of our members who believe there are better projects that we could spen the money on.


DaveH said...

You might want to remove the previous spam reply :-) They get everywhere dont they!

In response to your post, I am in absolute agreement with you. Why go to the trouble and expense of re-jigging a book we already have and adding a few extra hymns and songs. I wonder how much 'contemporary' stuff will be put in? or Will we just be producing another book that contains inaccessible stuff for our changing society?
The only advantage I see of using set books is when asking a minister to pick songs, although I feel for a church to engage with modern soceiet, this relationship will have to change.

God Bless

Fat Prophet said...

Thanks Dave for the advice about the previous post and I have now learnt how to get rid of unwanted comments so that is good.
I am a little worried like you that the group looking at this project (the Music Resources Group) will contain at least a couple of young people whose pulse may be far more on the contemporary scene in regards to Christian music.
I take your point about choosing hymns/songs but if the circuit is wise it could be possible to produce a resource fairly simply detailing the books available and maybe even the indices of the various books or even a list compiled by someone in the circuit. We occasionally get preachers at out church who use both Hymns and Psalms and Mission Praise although all their hymns are in Mission Praise and it is often because they did not realise this was the case. They are quite surpirsed when I say how come both books?

DaveW said...


Maybe this post from conference will help.

Anyway, yes young people are represented. Yes emerging Church is represented.

More important is that a paper book is only one part of what is planned. more important is a rolling digital set of hymns/songs and digital sets to be released annually.

I don't the the paper book will sell well. but the process of selecting songs/hymns for it will be important for the digital stuff and that will be useful for all. Why? Because our hymn book and process selects a better theological and seasonal mix than does the standard commercial process.

Fat Prophet said...

Thanks Dave W for your comment it is just a pity the Recorder didn't make that clear - incidentally I notice you got your name in there this week commenting in one of the debates.
I really do think a new music resource would be useful but I still worry that there are some churches still wanting to stick in the past - I am at a church tomorrow preaching where they have H & P and the old Mission Praise books 1 & 2 (Blue & Yellow) so they made a stab at modernising about 15 years ago and now seem to stand still and unless preachers have copies of those books choosing hymns is immensely difficult.