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“i’ll Never Sing Hymns The Same Way Again!”

That was a typical reaction of one of the 85 delegates to the Gibraltar Archdeaconry Synod who attended a seminar by Rev John Bell of the Iona Community. He began by inviting people to sing a version of the Gloria to a South American tune then explored the way many Christian’s theological perspectives are shaped by the words of hymns rather than Scripture or history.

He quoted many well loved hymns, not least Abide with me with its emphasis on change and decay as partners and urged members to consider using music from the wider world and to beware hymns with old concepts of Mission.

He underlined his advice by introducing easily singable hymns which he accompanied in a lively way on the piano. As clergy prepared for a Synod Eucharist great care was taken over both words and music of hymns as John Bell is preaching at the service.