Hymn in commemoration of Desmond Tutu

This day we have witnessed a man for all people,
a man who was human, held fast what is right,
for this he has lived with profound dedication,
he shone in the world, don't extinguish that light.

And we who are human stand now in remembrance,
frail shadows of all he has shown we can be.
He not only preached, but embodied the values
that showed through his living that all can be free.

The man we remember has died, will be buried,
yet while we live justly his theme will not fall.
His spirit is living, will not be extinguished,
the love he embraced will be ever for all.

Words: Andrew Pratt (born 1948) text originally written for Nelson Mandela alt by the author © 2013/2021 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 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 )

Paulette Wilson has died – Nadine White on Twitter

Paulette Wilson has died. She moved to the UK from Jamaica in 1968, but was stripped of her rights by the home office and left destitute as the Windrush scandal unfolded. While awaiting compensation, Paulette selflessly campaigned for justice for others.

Part of her story – Paulette Wilson

Poem for VE Day

My Father died 47 years ago. He had served in the 8th Army seeing action at El Alamein. This is not meant to be his story but reflecting, while there was sense in celebration when bombs stopped dropping on England, perhaps we might celebrate in 2020 with care. I guess my father, and others like him had not been demobbed. He didn’t talk much about his war. He had firm friends. Some had died. When he came home he had a nervous breakdown – post-traumatic stress? Some years later he was chronically and then terminally ill dying at the age of sixty. My mother died at the same age one year later. How much of this was an aftermath of war I’ll never know. I do know that in the fifties it was common to see men who had lost limbs not being lauded as paralympic athletes. Some things have changed…thank God…

They sent him home, a broken man,
each nerve and sinew torn or strained
and what was celebrated then
he recognised as little gained.

The trauma of that noise and strife,
the shattered buildings, tear torn lives,
with stunned, dismembered memories,
and, though he struggled, each survives.

The shell-shocked post-traumatic stress,
his past so vivid, sharpened, bright,
has left him stumbling through a void,
toward a mist enshrouded night.

*****************************

And now as we look back this day,
into a past that some have known,
may we revere the ones we see,
and recognise the grief they own.

And deeper truths must still be learned:
that no dispute is worth a life,
that peace and justice, kindness, love,
must bring an end to earthly strife.

© Andrew Pratt 4/5/2020

AUDIO – © Andrew Pratt 4/5/2020