Friday, 10 July 2015

More than Hymns - Words for a Lyrical Faith - NEW HYMN COLLECTION - Andrew Pratt



More than Hymns - Words for a Lyrical Faith – Stainer & Bell Ltd http://www.stainer.co.uk/shop/b944.html

ISBN 0 85249 944 3


A creative spirituality is the essence of Andrew Pratt’s continuing affirmation of the role of hymnody in contemporary faith, through a corpus of lyrics for public worship that are amongst the most relevant of recent contributions to the form. No less than with his very first texts, dating from the late 1970s, the goal in this fourth and latest collection is to make sense of language, living and worshipping in a way that also acknowledges the shifting and often contextual nature of our words and of our world. One important influence in More than Hymns has been the discipline of writing hymns for three years of the readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Another has been his response to the problem of evil as manifest in the crises and conflicts of the last decade. There are challenging insights into familiar Biblical themes, and a number of refreshing items, each a pi├Ęce d’occasion arising from the author’s varied pastoral work.


Saturday, 27 June 2015

CHARLESTON, FRANCE, TUNISIA - A DIVIDED WORD - A HYMN

A world once rent by turmoil
will suffer once again,
the memories once buried
have surfaced with our pain,
the hatred that enslaved us
has found another dawn,
while love and grace are tattered,
bedraggled, lost and torn.

Once Christ had shown through living
the way to human life,
to cut through human hatred,
confronting human strife,
when those who made religion
an idol to defend,
stood fast against oppression
until life's very end.

God give us strength to covet
the love that makes us whole,
to claim again your promise,
the value of each soul.
God give us grace to cherish
your love above each creed,
to value every neighbour
through thought and word and deed.
© Andrew Pratt 27/6/2015 andrewpratt48@gmail.com


 HYMNS POSTED ON THIS BLOG MAY BE USED FREELY LOCALLY WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. TO PUBLISH FOR PROFIT PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

NEPAL EARTHQUAKE - POEM

Canyons heave and mountains tumble,
earth beneath will shift and rumble,
quaking buildings tilting and falling
will God never head our calling?
Like some hell afire with trouble,
children buried in the rubble:
seems there is no hope or reason,
fear unleashed, death finds its season.

Here in utter desperation
harmed by nature's harsh mutation,
will we ask 'is God against us',
seeking to deny or test us?
When, O when, as life is rattled
and we feel dislodged, embattled,
will an avalanche of praying
turn a God bent on betraying?

Then when rubble ceases moving,
still God's grace, it seems, needs proving.
All our trust and hope is waning,
faith is taut, near breaking, straining.
Yet, as neighbours, sharing grieving,
let us bring God's love, relieving
fears that leave the world unsleeping
seeding trust, God's grace unceasing.
© Andrew Pratt 12/5/2015
 ITEMS POSTED ON THIS BLOG MAY BE USED FREELY LOCALLY WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. TO PUBLISH FOR PROFIT PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR.

Open letter to the Prime Minister fomr Mike Walsh

Mike, a URC Minister wrote and open letter to Prime Minister Cameron after the 2015 election. It begins:

Dear Prime Minister,
I don't know if you will ever read this, but I have some things I wish to say to you.
You have won the General Election and command a majority in the House of Commons, and as such will feel you have a legitimate mandate to govern. However, you must also know that you don't command a majority of the British people.
Although our political views are very much at odds on many issues, I'm willing to believe that you are a good man, as sure of your ideals as I am of mine, and believe your plan is what's best for us all. You said today that you will govern for the whole country and bring back together that which has clearly fractured. I hope you will.

Thanks to Mike for this - a timely word

Read the whole of the letter here

https://www.facebook.com/revd.walsh?fref=ts

Thursday, 23 April 2015

MIGRATION HYMN - hymn response to reports of more than 800 people drowned off Libya's coast



Idyllic beaches break the waves
as bathers line the shore
This view of peace is now disturbed:
an aftermath of war.
The ones who fled from lives they knew
have gone in fear and dread,
the ships that offered hope to them
are sunk with many dead.

And where is God amid the swell
where tides still ebb and flow,
unfeeling of this loss of life,
as others come and go?
The commerce of the world goes on.
Can we ignore the pain?
It is as though we're blind to see
Christ crucified again.

The ones who drown are ones we own
as neighbours we should love,
how can we turn our eyes away,
avert our gaze above?
For when our politics conspires
to shut the door to grace
it is as though we turn away
from Jesus' tortured face.
© Andrew Pratt 22/4/2015 Please include on your CCL return if you have one

Tune: ELLACOMBE or KINGSFOLD


The challenge of migration: In response to reports of more than 800 people drowned off Libya's 

coast on Sunday 19th April 2015, bringing the number of deaths this year to 1,750.


 HYMNS POSTED ON THIS BLOG MAY BE USED FREELY LOCALLY WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. TO PUBLISH FOR PROFIT PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

A HYMN BEFORE THE ELECTION - If we claim to love our neighbours

PLEASE NOTE; The copyright notice for this text should now read: © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd and NOT  © 2015 Andrew Pratt. The text is available using a CCL Licence.

1          If we claim to love our neighbour
            while the hungry queue for food,
            are we prey to self-deception?
            Is perception quite so crude?
            If we sit beside our neighbours,
            begging for the things they need,
            we might share their own injustice
            in a world that thrives on greed.

2          If we punish those with nothing,
            blaming them for where they stand,
            is this love of friend or neighbour,
            do we still not understand?
            Love of neighbour is not easy,
            cuts us till we feel the pain,
            sharing hurt that they are feeling
            till they find new life again.

3          Love of neighbour sets us squarely
            in the place where they now sit,
            till the richness God has given
            builds a pearl around the grit;
            till each person shares the comfort
            of the love of which we preach,
            till we live as fact the Gospel:
            none can be beyond love's reach.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)

© 2015 Stainer & Bell LtdMetre 8.7.8.7.D
Tune: BETHANY (Smart)
Written during the Manchester & Stockport District Synod (in response to a Joint Public Issues presentation by Rachel Lampard & Paul Morrison). The hymn was sung at the close of Synod.

HYMNS POSTED ON THIS BLOG MAY BE USED FREELY LOCALLY WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. TO PUBLISH FOR PROFIT PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

BBC Radio Merseyside Acts of Worship

Having given notice to BBC Radio Merseyside that I am no longer willing to take Acts of Worship as part of the Daybreak Sunday morning religious programme some people have asked why this is. 

Firstly,

·       I am very happy with the people that I have worked with on a day to day basis for over a decade and I continue to hold them in high regard.
·       I still have the capacity to do this work and will, in fact, have more time from August 31st when I retire from full-time employment.

So why have I ‘given notice’?

During the autumn of 2014 presenters of the Act of Worship were invited to Radio Merseyside for a training session. Part of this related to Compliance. The gist of this was that each Act of Worship would need to be submitted for scrutiny on Thursday morning when it was to be presented live on a Sunday. In this process the script could be approved or amended and approved.

In principle there is nothing wrong with this.

The downside is that the whole script needs to be ready to be submitted at the end of Wednesday and cannot be significantly changed following this. In the event of local or national events taking place between submission and broadcast no changes can be made.

The week preceding February 8th was in some ways exceptional, but during this time two significant national news items related to child abuse, Lord Chilcot (reporting on the Iraq War) appeared before a Select Committee, a Parliamentray debate focussed on mitochondrial DNA, discussions were taking place at an international level relating to the Ukraine and Russia and ISIS displayed a video of a man being burnt alive. On the 7th February a man was shot in Liverpool.

Had I been leading worship in a church I would have at least mentioned some of these in the prayers. In reality I might well have reflected on one of them in the act of worship. The BBC response is that these issues were dealt with elsewhere in the programme and, indeed, some were.

Another BBC comment was that there, ‘are the days when our contributors cannot come in live and so we broadcast a pre-recorded Act of Worship. This will not reflect the news of the day.’

It was added, ‘But that is not necessarily a bad thing’.

As I believe

·       that worship ought to reflect context,
·       that it is an act of worship that I am seeking to enable,
·       that context includes an awareness by the congregation (audience) of what is happening in the world,
then not to respond to events is to diminish the act of worship.

From this perspective in 30 years of ministry it has been my experience that people seem to find it helpful to reflect within worship on such things. I have sought to do this publicly and by writing hymns on issues as varied as tsunamis and the death of Osama bin Laden.

Not to make such links may not ‘be a bad thing’ but it is, for me, thoroughly unsatisfactory.

The rightness of my decision was underlined for me this morning (8th February 2015) as I led an Act of Worship, broadcast live focussing on awe, wonder and hope without being able to relate to any of the things that had been a focus of the rest of the programme, or that had happened since submitting my script.

It is for this reason that I have indicated that I am no longer able to lead Acts of Worship on BBC Radio Merseyside with integrity.