Furthering the cause of excellence in hymnody: the Pratt Green Trust

Added about 5 months ago by Richard Rutherford Hilton

GUEST BLOG: Gillian Warson, author of Using Vintage Hymns in Worship: Hidden Treasures Rediscovered and one of the editors of First Flight Feathers: The Best of Worship Live, writes about the partnership between Sacristy Press and the Pratt Green Trust.

As the Pratt Green Trust celebrates its 40th anniversary, we are delighted that Sacristy Press is one of our new partners.

The Pratt Green Trust (PGT) is a national charity founded by Methodist hymnwriter Fred Pratt Green (1903–2000). Our patrons include Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith, Broadcaster Pam Rhodes, and the vicar of St Martin-in the-Fields, the Revd Dr Sam Wells. The purpose of the PGT is to further the cause of excellence in hymnody, to advance public education in the field of church music and to support the work of similar organisations. To this end we provide prizes and grants to hymnwriters and help fund relevant research and scholarship. We work with several partner organizations, of which Sacristy Press is one. We are a small but growing enterprise, and during the last 40 years we have contributed to the field of hymnody, notably through the publication of HymnQuest—an early frontrunner in online hymnody resources. 

Of course, alongside research and education, hymns and hymn writing are central to the values of the PGT. It was a pleasure for two of our trustees, Janet Wootton and Gillian Warson, to work with Sacristy Press on the book First Flight Feathers (published 2023). This book is an example of how hymn writers can develop in partnership and community to produce excellent and exciting hymns and other resources for worship.

It is therefore not surprising that one of the projects for the 40th anniversary year is a hymn competition!  Launched on 6 January, the competition is open to all writers and composers and there are three categories, designed to cater for the variety of skills and talents involved in writing the words, composing the tune—or both. The categories are:

  • Original text to a well-known melody
  • Original text to an original melody
  • Original melody to a Fred Pratt Green text (details of these texts can be found on HymnQuest via our website)

The Pratt Green Trust is pleased to offer a £500 prize for the winning entry in each category. The competition closes on 10 May 2024 and the winners will be announced on 4 July.

Later in 2024 we are planning to hold an academic seminar and we hope to involve our partners in the planning and running of this. More details will be announced on our website.

In keeping with our constitution, the PGT is always looking to expand its network. We have several ways in which you can support usas a friend, as an associate or as a benefactor. For more information, please contact gillian@prattgreentrust.org.uk.  We have a Facebook page and are hoping to add you to the list of our followers!

Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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