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 –

Hymns responding to Christopher Walsh’s Seminar for Bramhall Methodist Church Climate Change Series

Pre-meeting text

Is it time to pause the picture, 
freeze the frame until we learn. 
Listen more to one another, 
as we focus to discern 
differences of our perspectives, 
how our neighbours live and grow, 
till in Christian understanding,
Jesus’ love begins to show?
 
Accidents of birth have placed us 
into poverty or wealth, 
having access to possessions, 
bringing peace? Destroying health?
When will humans learn together 
how to meet our common need? 
How to live with one another, 
nurture love, that precious seed.
 
God enable us to treasure 
those with whom we share this earth, 
those whose lives are marked by difference, 
yet who share our human birth; 
bring a clearer understanding 
of the planet that we share, 
till we grasp the trust that’s given, 
measured out for all to care.

Andrew Pratt 15/5/2021
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: 8.7.8.7 D
Tune: BETHANY (Smart)

Hymn responding to Christopher Walsh
PhD Student, Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester

How we trust and work together 
with our partners on this earth, 
will sustain, or damn our planet, 
place of nurture, home of birth.

Yet removed and isolated 
we have not been stewards of faith, 
as we pray with understanding 
may we channel active grace. 

May our prayer inspire our actions, 
not just words or empty rhyme, 
all our lives are interactive, 
interwoven threads in time.

With a common understanding 
sisters, brothers work as one, 
reap the value of creation 
as our time on earth is run.

Metre: 8.7.8.7
Tune: ALL FOR JESUS
Andrew Pratt 18/5/2021
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.

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‘Is this the day’ – poem – reflection on Coronavirus inspired by thoughts of Simon Sutcliffe – link below

Is this the day that dawns today, when all the world stands still,
when human lives are challenged in their arrogant, self-will?
Is this a time to sound again the grace which from our youth
Has brought us to this point in time to face eternal truth?

We wonder at the rhythms of creation we observe,
the genesis of all we see, the laws we sense and serve,
yet when we read in scripture of the wonders of this course,
we tend to shut our eyes to one last day of rest at source.

Now is the moment action takes the place of hollow sighs,
the sighs that speak of emptiness, of loneliness and lies;
great God, within this Sabbath rest we question and explore,
is this a time when you recede, a tide drawn from the shore?
 
Now is a time of deep compassion, caring and concern,
when every person needs the love that money cannot earn.
This is a time when values shift and search for solid ground,
to put aside our selfishness to go where grace is found.

© Andrew Pratt 17/3/2020
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=simon%20sutcliffe&epa=SEARCH_BOX

I have already found the political emphasis on economics in the face of the Coronavirus to be rather tiresome. Surely care of one another ought to be foremost and enabling the security of every person ought to take priority over all else.

 

 

 

Human searching started early – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Human searching started early,
when our mortal race began.
Curiosity was questing:
was life caused by chance or plan?
Science, like a lens, can focus
on components of God’s grace,
guiding us to ask more questions,
help us on the path we trace.

Scientific understanding
offers insight that can stun,
change perspective, alter meaning,
help imagination run.
How we read religious scripture,
things our context has imbued,
can enhance or muddle insight,
warp the way our faith is viewed.

Even tangled vegetation
smoth’ring ground on which we tread,
or the stars that light the cosmos
heighten wonder as they spread.
At our best God’s spirit shows us
from the earth, beyond the sky,
all creation’s awesome wonder,
filled with praise, while we reply!

Andrew Pratt 5/10/2019
Tune: CALON LAN
Metre: 8.7.8.7 D
Written in response to Dr Ruth Bancewicz’s seminar on ‘All creation praises God’.
Words © 2019 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.

Wrapped up in the silk that shines silver in moonlight – response to ‘All things bright and beautiful’

Wrapped up in the silk that shines silver in moonlight,
the cycle of life will go on day by day.
The spider devours what is needed by nature;
for life to exist death must also hold sway.

The cancer that kills through an act of mutation,
the building of love, the destruction and strife;
the things labelled ‘evil’ are part of creation,
the earth’s moving surface is needful for life.

Our eyes are half open to vast constellations,
are blind to the particles light can’t resolve,
but in them and through them the mystery beyond us:
the one we name ‘God’ makes our wisdom dissolve;

for on through our living and final destruction,
beyond deep imagining, artists might hold,
this ‘God’, this enigma, the source of our being
will love through eternity, comfort, enfold.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2015 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.
12 11 12 11
Suggested tune: STREETS OF LAREDO

At a Hymn Society Conference some years ago I was asked for a hymn in response to ‘All things bright and beautiful’ which took ‘bad’ things seriously, things like cancer. This exploration of creation of ‘bad things’, technically theodicy, followed.

Published in  More than hymns