Why should the Presbyterians have all the good music?

January 24, 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote about Christian music, but something this morning really made me pause and think.

Horatio Spafford is known for a few things, principally as a chum of great evangelist Dwight Moody and the writer of “It is well with my Soul” – a hymn inspired by the tragic loss of his four daughters in a shipwreck when crossing the Atlantic to holiday in England. The hymn, published by Sankey to a tune by Philip Bliss, is a standard in traditional protestant Christian churches, an inspiring message that whatever the world throws at a person God’s love and grace are sufficient to meet the challenge. It’s a hymn strong on key Christian themes, and recognised and sung across the English-speaking world.

Which is why I’m rather disappointed that Matt Redman nicked the chorus to shore up one of his recent compositions. Read the rest of this entry »


Harvest Songs – Where’s all the new material?

September 23, 2013

I’m playing at church on Sunday. My minister is talking to me about Harvest themed songs, and he hasn’t found much to enjoy from the “modern” worship canon.

Not that there is much really.

Harvest for most Christians is about thanking God for the abundance of creation. Even with all the skill in the world, farmers rely on nature to operate within normal tolerances and for us, that’s in the gift of Almighty God. We like a good knees-up. Anyone who thinks we don’t know how to party has never read about Jesus’ first recorded miracle – the whole water into wine thing. We are encouraged to celebrate, but apparently we must do it with a tragically dated soundtrack.
Read the rest of this entry »


Running Café Church … in a café

July 21, 2013

I went to church tonight. Except it was in Starbucks. Although it was definitely church. But the drinks were definitely by Starbucks.

Oh boy, another long winded rambling post about church and music and stuff. You can have the tl:dr version here: “Church in a café still looks and smells like church, which confuses me a bit.”

There.

Or read on to find out where I’m going with this. Read the rest of this entry »


Worship Musicians Unconference Cancelled

June 3, 2013

It’s time to admit defeat on this one. The Worship Musicians Unconference planned for this coming weekend isn’t going to happen. Never mind. We live and learn… etc.

If you’d like to attend something similar in the future, but not right now, e-mail me.


Give me that old time religion… it’s good enough for me.

April 16, 2013

Church on Sunday was great. There was a fantastic sermon and some good old time hymns mixed in with the modern songs. I’m not saying church is all about the music, but given I was playing the piano, it was a key factor in my thinking. Read the rest of this entry »


Worship Musicians Unconference

April 1, 2013

We’re going to host the most chilled out grass roots worship music event I’ve ever heard of.

wmu - Worship Musicians Unconference
Read the rest of this entry »


Psalm 150 – and why the guitar is an instrument of truth.

February 6, 2013

Have you read Psalm 150? It’s a bit of the Bible which is quite short and to the point, but also very clear on a single issue.

Praise God. Praise him with music, and dancing.

I can’t dance. Read the rest of this entry »


My New Christmas Song

December 17, 2012

I wrote a song! It’s got Shepherds and Angels in it. So, it must by definition be a Christmas song. It’s astonishing when I think about it how much the shepherds feature in my Christmas thinking. Read the rest of this entry »


The Theology of Christian Worship Music

November 8, 2012

Could somebody explain the purpose and underlying theology of music in contemporary church worship? It strikes me I’ve been doing it for a couple of decades and although I kind of get it by instinct, I have little real understanding. Read the rest of this entry »


Approved hymns, limits on creativity

August 30, 2012

I spoke with a friend this evening at the pub. We meet regularly, over a pint (admittedly, mine usually a pint of water due to the new regime) and we talk about most things.

He told me that his church has approved thirty songs for use in worship on Sunday mornings, to use for a season in the church. Read the rest of this entry »