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Showing posts from March, 2016

Lord for the Years

If you've has ever wondered where my Twitter profile description of what I do comes from, you're about to find out.
"Teaches and trains, rebukes and inspires" seems to me like a pretty good summary of what a teacher should do, and it is lifted from the second verse of one of my favourite hymns, Lord for the Years.
I am an unapologetic hymn geek. I believe that the (largely) British tradition of hymn singing is one of our finest contributions to world culture, and is often overlooked and even derided because of its association with organised religion, a practice seen by many as stuffy, outdated and irrelevant to the real world. Yet in my view, English hymns have given us some of the finest melodic and lyrical works ever written. It doesn't get much better than Charles Wesley, Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Hubert Parry, to name but three.

It is easy to think of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as some kind of golden age of hymn writing, and indeed many of our …