Group sitting in a circle in the quiet garden at Paul Church, Penzance

Creation Liturgy

Watch this short clip of the open air Creation Liturgy.  Creation Liturgy Celebrating Creation and deepening our commitment to care for it was the theme of this liturgy in the open air in Cornwall, with the Penlee Cluster of Anglican Churches in the Penzance area.  We used the liturgy from the new Iona Abbey Worship Book […]

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Multi coloured fabrics from around the world form a cross

Using global song in worship with integrity

Here’s a 15 minute interview I did recently in USA on using global song in our worship. “How can Global Music in Western Worship be done authentically and respectfully?” Its part of a series in The Luxcast, a podcast of Western Theological Seminary in Michigan.  Greg Scheer and I reflect on how to use global music with integrity […]

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Remembering Mairi Munro

Mairi Munrio died this week after four years of living with an aggressive brain tumour. It is with deep sadness that I reflect here on our times together in Wild Goose. We worked together as volunteers in the Wild Goose Worship Group from its first days – when she was 17 and I was 23. […]

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Morning light on Morecambe Bay, viewed from Grange prom

Drop in to my course on Iona songs and worship

from 6th-9th March I’m leading workshops on songs and worship of the Iona Community and each evening we have worship services.  You can see the full timetable on the diary page.  Anyone may drop in to any of the sessions and a small voluntary donation is invited from participants.

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Logo for Worship Symposium

Worship recording from Symposium in Grand Rapids

I’m working at the Worship Symposium of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.  This morning I assisted in worship leading with a group of international colleagues.  We are here working on worship preparation for the WCRC General Council in Leipzig, but part of the deal is that we do some seminars, presentations and worship leading […]

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Words on teh ground being walked over as people enter Iona Abbey Church on Good Friday

A song for 20th January 2017

On the day of the inauguration of President Trump, this song by John L. Bell seems like a powerful word for our times. You can hear it here Adam Kukuk singing The Truth that sets us free Adam is an American friend who posted this on Facebook today. When the wheel of fate is turning and […]

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Alison leading a song

Singing the Season

Back in Morecambe Holy Trinity in November 2016 for a Big Sing focused on Advent, Christmas & Epiphany. It was just great to be back and people came ready to put something in and get something out of it – a good way to begin anything in church!  Such brilliant songs from writers such as […]

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Cartmel Primary School sign

Cartmel Primary School

It has been a pleasure to work with the staff and pupils of this local primary school, introducing new songs for their assemblies and collective worship. Rachel Battersby, the Head Teachers said:  We regularly use these songs now in our collective worship at Cartmel.  It was incredible how easily they were retained by the children.  […]

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Seahouses Hostel Logo

Youth Gathering at Seahouses

The long drive to the Northumberland Coast was well worth it. I loved singing with the young people from the Diocese at their annual ‘Staying Alive’ camp in Seahouses.  The theme was on Micah 6:8 and we sang songs around that theme of Doing Justice, Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly with God.

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Interior of Jesmond URC

Big Sing in Newcastle

Northern Synod of the URC invited me to lead a Big Sing in June 2016.  Jesmond Church’s lovely, spacious, redesigned sanctuary was the perfect place to sing.  I’ve been at this church 3 times now and am grateful to the gifted and enthusiastic Alison Shiel, who’s the musician there.

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Sunrise from a window in Iona Abbey

Iona Singing Week 2016

SINGING A DEEPER STORY  30 April – 6 May 2016 This was a fabulous week of singing at Iona Abbey.  We reflected on how authentically our song in worship represents our yearnings, our faith, God’s story – all done through the singing of songs which help us to pray more deeply.

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Psalms workshop for Elders’ Training Day

In April 2016 I was invited by Duns Presbytery (in the Scottish Borders) to lead a workshop of Psalm singing.  A good number gathered and we used the singing as a way into reflecting on the range of the themes of the Psalms and how we can use them in worship and pastorally.  Great participation from […]

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Christian Aid Logo

Celebrating 70 years of Christian Aid

Wigan Baptist Church were the hosts of this superb celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Christian Aid in October 2015.  I led an afternoon workshop on songs focused on relevant themes such as justice as well as songs from around the world.  We then pulled together much of what we’d learned into a powerful service […]

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Ribbons as prayers, ties on to withies at worship at Greenbelt 2015

Greenbelt 2015

The team from the Iona Community had a great Greenbelt. We packed out the tent at the workshop, the wee sing and all three liturgies. Thanks to all who came and endured the squashed conditions in The Shelter, we managed to reflect and pray and sing so well together in spite of it! Our collaboration with […]

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Map burdened symbolically with stones and coins

A day on Lindisfarne – with the Psalms

Psalms as Soul Food – a precious day on Lindisfarne reflecting on the impact the Psalms can have on our lives. We did this mostly by singing them, rather than talking about them, although we did also use the psalms in praying for ourselves and the world using the themes of light, longing, loss, burdens, […]

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Morecambe Big Sing

I am deeply grateful to Rev Mike Peatman for bringing together such a diverse gathering for our Big Sing.  Many denominations were represented and the singing was excellent.  Only 1 child, which was disappointing, but she certainly enjoyed herself.  The power of Fischy Music’s new psalms arrangements are appreciated by all ages. Listen here:  Bring it […]

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Methodist Diaconal Cross

Methodist Diaconate Convocation May 2015

The Methodist Deacons gathered at Swanwick Conference Centre for their annual Convocation. I worked with an enthusiastic group on making music with limited resources. Many were on my wavelength when I included songs without bar chords!  (I.e. basic guitarists like me)  Our Big Sing was an absolute joy including the great musicians in the band who were led […]

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A group of people singing

30 April 2015 London

A superb evening of singing with 30 folk at All Hallows by the Tower, London.  We sang songs from near and far which allowed us to focus on what matters as we consider the voting choice we had to make in the General Election.  

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Election Hymn

Here is verse 2 of Andrew Pratt’s thought-provoking new hymn, If we claim to love our neighbour. He wrote it in March this year.  It is copyright Andrew Pratt 2015. View the whole song here: If we punish those with nothing, blaming them for where they stand, is this love of friend or neighbour, […]

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Cover of the book A Place at the Table by Shirley Murray

A Place at the Table: for gay and for straight

Shirley Erena Murray writes song texts which bring to the fore issues few others dream of getting us to sing about in worship – thank God for her wisdom and her gifts. Many folk know her excellent hymn A Place at the Table.  The theme is inclusion – for everyone born, a place at the table….There are […]

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Poster advertising INSPIRE - a Methodist event on 7 March.

INSPIRE – Methodists’ gathering in Lancashire

I led worship and a workshop at INSPIRE in spring 2015.  The theme of Loving your Neighbour was focussed by the dynamic input of  Key speaker Paul Morrison – policy advisor for the joint public issues team for the Baptist, URC and Methodist Churches.  It was inspiring and challenging and I recommend finding out about the […]

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London School of Theology logo

London School of Theology visit

In February 2015  I attended a consultation at the London School of Theology.  The title for our gathering was Worship: Theology, Practice & Training – focusing on the future of musical worship in the UK.  We were joined by Dr. John Witvliet of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids.  I have met John many times […]

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