God would not will…a hymn in a world of violence

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.

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

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.

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

Rich and poor – So sad that this poem is still pertinent after 174 years?

"How little can the rich man know
Of what the poor man feels,
When Want, like some dark dæmon foe,
Nearer and nearer steals!

He never tramp'd the weary round,
A stroke of work to gain,
And sicken'd at the dreaded sound
Telling him 'twas in vain.

Foot-sore, heart-sore, he never came
Back through the winter's wind,
To a dark cellar, there no flame,
No light, no food, to find.

He never saw his darlings lie
Shivering, the flags their bed;
He never heard that maddening cry,
'Daddy, a bit of bread!'"

William Gaskell (in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, 1848) 

Hymn responding to Greta Thunberg ahead of and following COP 26 – Blue planet, rising, soaring through the cosmos – Now with a new tune by Frances S. Drake

Blue planet, rising, soaring through the cosmos,
was lent in trust for us to tend and care
while children, young in wisdom, call in anguish, 
for all they see now fills them with despair.
The wonder of the sky has drawn us upwards, 
our eyes diverted by the moon and stars, 
and as we dream we lose our moral compass, 
and in our greed we grasp creation, call it ours.


Time runs away, our life on earth is finite, 
young prophets calling, needing us to act 
are crying out, lamenting for our planet, 
while ‘adults’ sleep, denying fear and fact.
Still others stand, immune, ignore the future, 
absolved from fault for all that comes to pass.
When will we grasp the need for urgent action, 
see clearly, not net curtained, or through frosted glass?


While sands of time run down, are gone and finished, 
in fear of change we hanker for the past, 
but life on earth is threatened by inaction, 
as lethargy and greed resist and last. 
Good God forgive us for each fault and faction, 
unwillingness to change to save this earth. 
God give us ears to hear the words of wisdom 
that we might save this planet, cradle of our birth.


Andrew Pratt 29/10/2021 – Responding to Greta Thunberg 
ahead of and following COP 26.

Words © 2021 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: 11.10.11.10.11.10.11.12
Tune: BLUE PLANET RISING; LONDONDERRY AIR
BLUE PLANET RISING – AUDIO – Copyright Frances S. Drake

Hymn responding to Ms Steph Bryant’s Seminar for Bramhall Methodist Church Climate Change Series

Ms Steph Bryant 
Youth and Schools Programme Co-Director, 
The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

Our view of the stars fosters wonder, through grandeur: 
the sense of a cosmos within God’s embrace;
from infinite chaos we’ve grown on this planet 
to learn, live and care, an inquisitive race.

We thrive as God nurtures our fragile existence, 
our life is related to all life on earth, 
and each generation must deepen in knowledge, 
yet guard against arrogance in our own worth.

God give us compassion to live with our neighbours, 
to value each species, conserve, and renew; 
to challenge those actions that lead to destruction, 
to cherish and never take more than our due.

And these are the gifts we must share with our children, 
compassionate love and a God-given grace,
this love with no limits pervades all creation 
from oceans and forests to infinite space.

Andrew Pratt 14/6/2021
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: 12.11.12.11
Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO

More information click here

Christ’s body has been broken – and sometimes by political choice…

Christ’s body has been broken,
not bread but human lives,
each family has scattered,
just memory survives;
the parents cry in anguish,
the children cry in fear,
we label them as migrant,
not wanted over here.

These are our human neighbours,
relations from our birth,
each sister, child or brother,
as one on this wide earth.
If we claim God as parent,
‘our Father’ as we say,
when will we own the the meaning
of empty words we pray?

God, help us welcome others,
God break the barriers down,
that tears may turn to laughter,
and smiles displace each frown;
then may we live together,
forgiven by your grace,
the Pentecostal promise,
one Godly human race!

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2018 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: 7 6 7 6 D