Such a fragment, just a remnant – On hearing John A Bell preaching at Comberbach Harvest

Such a fragment, just a remnant, 
nothing wasted, nothing lost; 
all creation has its value, 
has its purpose, place or cost.

Things we count of little value 
have inestimable worth; 
every grain of soil we’re tilling, 
in each land upon this earth.

We must treasure earth’s resources 
and each moment of our time, 
life and all we have for living, 
bound in loving’s endless rhyme.

On hearing John A Bell preaching at Comberbach Methodist Church Harvest
Andrew Pratt 26/9/2021
Words © 2021 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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 
For lyrics copyright see text above.

Tune composed by Frances S. Drake (USA) in the week following the composition of the text. Frances can be contacted by emailing – hymncat@yahoo.com

Hear the tune at –

Hymn of Justice, Harvest and Development – The earth pleads for justice

The earth pleads for justice, the harvest is wanting

The earth pleads for justice, the harvest is wanting, 
in fire, flood or tempest our crops are destroyed; 
the Spring, once predicted, is desolate, silent, 
excuses are hollow, we’ve done all we can?

The mountains have echoed, or is that God’s whisper, 
the quiet consternation of one in distress? 
A prompting, a question that answers our calling, 
is that your defence, that you’ve done all you can?

While continents crumble and ice caps are melting, 
you sit on your hands, you do nothing at all. 
Wake up to the danger still growing around you, 
and do all you can till your passage is through.

And now in the present let’s work for the future, 
still others will follow, they wait in the wings: 
this planet, its future, its people our neighbours, 
join hands, sing our anthem: ‘we’ll do All We Can!’
Andrew Pratt 13/9/2021

Written at the request of Margaret Parker for Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church to celebrate All We Can (Methodist Relief and Development)
 
Words © 2021 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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 
Metre: 12.11.12.11
Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO/THE BARD OF ARMAGH (Ancient and Modern 551 - YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJPxNjLRhEM ); 
ST CATHERINE’S COURT (Hymns & Psalms 660 - Hymnary - https://hymnary.org/media/fetch/205294 )

God would not will what we have seen

1	God would not will what we have seen,
	the terror, violence, death;
	for God is love, the source of life,
	the essence of our breath.

2	God would not break the damaged reed,
	the smouldering wick is fanned;
	yet human power, our want and greed
	can counter what God planned.

3	Our will is free, our way we choose,
	to act for good or ill,
	to offer love, to calm or heal,
	to damage or to kill.

4	God give us courage in the face
	of carnage that we see,
	to work for life, to live for love,
	to set your people free.

Andrew E. Pratt (born 1948) (alt Andrew Pratt 13/8/2021
Words © 2006 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://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.
Metre: CM



When strangers are unwelcome – those needing asylum

When strangers are unwelcome 

When strangers are unwelcome 
the church’s heart beats slow, 
the lost who run from danger 
have nowhere left to go. 
No words of grace are spoken 
while, looking on the world, 
the heart of God is broken: 
love’s banner tightly furled.

The people at our borders 
who need compassion now, 
reach out for care and shelter, 
but rules will not allow 
these ones to seek asylum:
we put up legal walls.
Before we’ve even met them 
we disregard their calls.

Then images from scripture speak 
judgment on the church, 
and call for clearer thinking 
as values seize or lurch. 
The Christ that we would worship 
would turn the world around, 
and shake us from our comfort, 
our certain, solid ground.

Then shatter walls and windows 
and let the church reach out, 
and not with Psalms and anthems, 
but anger, let us shout 
condemning every outrage 
that demonises life, 
and break the laws that damage, 
evoking human strife.

Andrew Pratt 30/7/2021
Words © 2021 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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.
Metre: 7.6.7.6 D
Tune: AURELIA; KINGS LYNN

Inspired by a front page item in the Methodist Recorder 30/7/2021 involving an interview with Rev Inderjit Bhogal.



Hymn at a time of ‘levelling up’ – A promise of heaven is fine if you’re dead

A promise of heaven is fine if you’re dead, 

but we’re in the present, need food and need bread,

the Christ that we ‘worship’ to whom we might pray,

would heal in the present, feed folk in his day.



And that still has meaning where poverty kills,

where selfishness injures – that’s not what God wills.

A levelling up, to which we might aspire,

says yes to the sacrifice God would require.



To follow the Christ child from manger to cross,

involves our self-giving not counting the loss,

to take from the poor while we bolster our wealth,

confirms our hypocrisy, signs our ill-health.



The world Jesus promised in action and word

made selfishness something both cruel and absurd;

to love every neighbour of each race and creed,

gave all of God’s grace to meet all the world’s need.


Andrew Pratt; 15/7/2021

Words © 2020 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://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.
Metre:11.11.11.11