On the sidewalk [pavement] – for Homelessness (Sunday)

1          On the sidewalk, by the shop-front
            I laid down my mat to sleep;
            tears of sadness welled within me,
            thoughts of all that might have been.

2          Lost within this hidden city
            where the subway hums and groans,
            left unnoticed and defenceless,
            God forsaken and alone.

3          Can you sense my thrumming heart-beat,
            can you feel a reason why
            in your wealth you’re just as lonely,
            waiting for your time to die?

4          Maybe I should look more clearly
            through the eyes of given hope,
            maybe you could stoop more lowly
            that together we may cope.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)

Words © 2002 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., from Whatever name or creed & Reach by Peter Sharrocks
Tune: RECONCILLIATION (HOPSON)

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



‘This sudden Sabbath gives us pause’ – a hymn response to the Coronavirus crisis – link to new tune by John Kleinheksel added

This sudden Sabbath gives us pause
to rest and to reflect.
What is the focus of our lives
and what is its effect?
We live within a common world,
whatever race or creed;
for things maintaining life and health,
we share a common need.

For some a love of God becomes the
centre of their prayer,
but such a love’s a hollow boast
when neighbours have no care.
The early Christians took the lead
of Jesus as their style,
to hold in common all they had,
to go the second mile.

When people safe-guard all they have,
while others queue in fear,
when those who have are given more,
while hunger’s drawing near;
where is our faith, our common love,
as cries become more stark,
when poverty crowds round our door,
the future clouded, dark?

Now is the moment for us all
to live what we confess,
to live within community
the faith that we profess.
Then let us stand as one with all
we share a common birth,
that on until eternity
love holds each life on earth.

Andrew Pratt 18/3/2020 – In response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Tune: COE FEN; SOLL’S SEIN
New Tune: This.Sudden.Sabbsth.virus.2021.Pratt
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.

No insurance – for Australia

These crazy flames lick and lap at all that ranges round us,
the trappings of our wealth,
experience and existence.
At birth we can’t anticipate our existential ending,
the length of life not ours to count or measure.
But then we face eternity,
or nothingness,
depending on belief.
Like night’s thief, flames hotter than hell’s painting are not some distant image,
but sharpened fronds dissembling each dwelling.
And if we leave reality says,
‘there is no return’.
Can faith uphold us through this conflagration?
Survival walks naked of all that we have known,
valued or possessed.
That is the option open to us.
Our Hobson has no choice.
So if we die we will know what rests beyond this life.
Remaining so much is loss or lost.
Whichever path we walk pray this,
pray only this,
that now and on beyond this moment
the love a letter writer once described
will hold,
enfold
and keep us still through all that is to come.
And no insurance…just the faith…

Words © Andrew Pratt 4/1/2019

A topsy-turvy, upturned world – the time to make decisions – Magnificat for election time

A topsy-turvy, upturned world,
where values are distorted,
the first is last and last is first
with everything contorted.
The rich are begging at the door
while ones they were despising
are given charge of Godly wealth,
in stature they are rising.

Magnificat has come to stay,
the proud have been extinguished;
the humble poor are lifted high,
their poverty relinquished.
The reign of God has come to pass
rebutting our world’s choices,
each one that we would count as last
within this time rejoices.

And will we ever find a place
with pride and wealth rejected,
or will hypocrisy deny
our need to be accepted?
The choice is ours, the crisis dawns,
the time to make decisions,
to stand with God or walk alone
within this world’s divisions.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
8 7 8 7 D Tune: CONSTANCE (Sullivan)
Words © 2015 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.