Friday, 30 March 2018

Glorious scars? - words for Good Friday...


1 Tortured, beaten, scarred and tainted,
Not a picture deftly painted,
More a tattered, battered being,
Torn, disfigured, stark, unseeing.

2 Muscles twisted, strained, contorted,
Body dangling, bruised, distorted.
Life blood drying, sun-baked, stinging,
Hatred, bitter hatred, flinging.

3 Crowds insensate, tempers vented,
Full of anger, discontented.
Curses scattered, insults flying,
Spurned, derided, God is dying.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 1997 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, www.stainer.co.uk.

Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Lent - Easter - Thomas - hymn - The world is fraught with danger

The world is fraught with danger, 
we have no way to turn,
when war or sickness threaten
faith has so much to learn.
Uncertain, lost in anger, 
frustrated, in the dark, 
unsure of any meaning, 
it seems we miss the mark.

Like Thomas we’re left wanting, 
with need to know yet more,
for all we feel is shaking 
and we are left unsure.
A mystery awaits us, 
a vast unknowing cloud, 
with nothing safe or certain, 
a hope, or yet a shroud?

Here in the heart of hardship 
where life is dead and gone 
we sense a resurrection, 
we meet the risen one?
One lasting fact surrounds us, 
for though our grasp is slight, 
God’s love will beckon onward, 
a soft yet healing light.

Andrew Pratt (born 1948) 23/2/2018
Words © 2018 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Hymn in respect of Stephen Hawking

Beyond impossibility
where concepts such as time and space
evaporate, are meaningless,
there flows an endless stream of grace.

Deep in the darkness laughter rocks
as human minds are changed and swayed,
as concrete truths are shaken down
and doctrines challenged or betrayed.

The greatest minds that have evolved
have opened wonder, filled with awe,
have pointed to infinity
yet left a darkness to explore.

Unmeasured depths of gracious love,
of Godly mischief reach and range,
while new beginnings light our world,
unlooked for, awesome, wondrous, strange.
Andrew Pratt (born 1948) 14/3/2018
In respect for Stephen Hawking

Words © 2018 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

In respect for Stephen Hawking

Saturday, 10 March 2018

A hymn for the commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One


1 How can we sing of that sad conflagration:
cauldron of misery, mud, gas and fire?
Young men had gone, some inspired and excited,
then all too soon hanging dead on the wire.

2 Here amid blood tattered, writhing humanity,
can we find Christ? Is this glorious, this death?
Here, where the best of a whole generation
gave of their all and had breathed their last breath?

3 They lived and died through the lie of their 'betters',
others had said that this war would end war.
Subsequent history unfolded the story,
showing humanity hankers for more.

4 God let us learn how to love every neighbour,
living our lives in the style of the cross,
valuing others as sisters and brothers,
giving our all, never counting the loss.

5 Then is the Spirit of Christ found among us,
then are we worthy to stand in his name,
then we can say that we truly are Christian,
love is the evidence, this is our claim.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
11 10 11 10
Suggested tune : STEWARDSHIP
Words © 2018 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.


From - The Bell (published by Stainer & Bell Ltd) page 5  https://stainer.co.uk/images/pdf/bellspring18.pdf 

Friday, 5 January 2018

Poem/Hymn after Tennyson at the turning of the year for a country and a world that seems anything but Christian.


1 Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
the flying cloud, the frosty light:
the year is dying in the night;
ring out, wild bells, and let it die.

2 Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
for those that here we see no more;
ring out the feud of rich and poor,
ring in redress for humankind.

3 Ring out each slowly dying cause,
archaic forms of party strife;
Ring in a new regard for life,
with open borders, fairer laws.

4 Ring out false pride in birth and creed,
the civic slander and the spite;
ring in the love of truth and right
ring in the end of human need.

5 Ring out the curse of poverty.
Ring out the grasping lust of wealth.
Ring out those things that harm our health,
Ring out old wars, bring unity.

6 Ring in a time when all are free,
a time when none will fear to stand
when all are welcome in this land.
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) alt. Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Friday, 22 December 2017

IN EVERY FACE THAT STARES OUT FROM THE MANGER - Incarnation now - hymn

In every face that stares out from the manger,
each person bears the image of our God,
in Christ is human flesh affirmed and honoured,
for God has walked where human feet have trod.

In every face of youth, of age, each baby,
uplifted by the earth life of the Christ:
the stable bed, the cross of common torture,
marked off his life, these markers once sufficed.

And this we show, when we live incarnation,
to make God's presence real for humankind,
the wine we drink, the bread so freely broken
speak of the love of God so richly mined.

And those who live and suffer in this moment,
the dispossessed, oppressed throughout the earth,
are raised beyond frustration and existence,
to know, in living, their uncommon worth.
© Andrew Pratt 28/11/2011
Tunes: O PERFECT LOVE or INTERCESSOR
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.