Singing the Faith plus

The Methodist Church

March 2021

Singing the Faith Plus

Over the past year, the Methodist Church has, like most other church denominations, worked hard to support worship in its different online forms, locally and nationally. That remains as true this Easter as last. See below for details.


Many have discovered real opportunities through the development of online services, both live and recorded, and we currently working to share what we have learned.


At the same time, as we approach the anniversary of the first national UK lockdown, we must not lose sight of the fact that this creativity has been driven in the first instance by a pandemic that has left nowhere and no-one unaffected. In the UK alone, we have experienced over four and a quarter million identified cases of Covid and over 125,000 deaths triggered by the virus.



Along with members of other religious and community organisations, we are invited to mark the year that has passed. The Methodist Church is offering a time of reflection at 12.45pm on Monday 22 March, live on Facebook. We are also invited to join the national Day of Reflection on Tuesday 23rd, which will include an opportunity to share a light at 8pm. Read further details and a message from the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference.

Celebrating Easter, wherever we are


We continue to update our Worship during the coronavirus pandemic page. This includes the ongoing resource of worship-at-home printable sheets for those who don’t have internet access.


Added to this, you can explore the curated Lent and Easter resources, including in particular specially prepared worship and reflections for Holy Week. These include the Revd Ken Howcroft’s reflections on the Holy Week story as recounted in the Gospel of Mark.


Also featured is the Holy Week story with five senses – an effective way of reflecting on Easter week themes in ways that will appeal to different age groups and to those for whom too many words can be unhelpful.


You can access a downloadable mp3 version of the Easter Celebration CD, for use as part of your worship. It includes Easter hymns, readings and a reflection from the President of the Conference. Over 25,000 orders were received for the physical CD, which many have distributed to those who aren’t able to access online worship, or gifted to members of their community.



Looking beyond Easter, the Methodist Evangelism and Growth team has been organising an excellent series of webinars on a wide range of topics. Coming up soon, in 22 March: “How to run a virtual prayer room”, described as “a great way to get involved with Thy Kingdom Come this year, at a church, circuit or district level”. There’s still time to register your interest here.

Real lives - the hymns of Ruth Duck


It was International Women’s Day on 8 March that nudged me to explore the hymns of Ruth Duck in detail.


Her work, which often addresses the experience of women directly, is represented by seven hymns in Singing the Faith. Two of them in particular have taken on fresh resonance in more recent days by the confirmation of the murder of Sarah Everard and the ensuing debate in Britain on women's safety and sexual assault.


In both Sacred the body God has created (StF 618) and Pray for a world where every child (StF 527), Ruth combines respect for scripture and tradition with a commentary on human experience and contemporary concerns. Using language that is both direct and poetically complex, these hymns are worth reading closely. Look out, too, for a broader introduction to Ruth’s hymns in the near future.

URC hymns address slavery legacy


In response to another national debate, around Black Lives Matter, the United Reformed Church (a member of the ecumenical Joint Public Issues Team), is building a Legacies of Slavery collection of resources.


These currently include “14 Racial Justice Songs” – hymns by John Campbell, written to well-known tunes. Also discover, by the same writer, a response for Covid Times: Whilst Covid struts the land, we wear a mask. (Written with the tune "Nearer my God to thee" in mind, the words work well with Incarnation, StF 101.)


Five years of Eco Church


On 26 January, Eco Church in England and Wales became five years old. While Covid has prevented a face to face “birthday party”, on 26 March Eco Church will be holding an online event to celebrate the development of the programme, to thank all who have contributed, and to pray together.


Read a reflection on those first five years and register for the special online service on 26 March. The event will also be recorded and made available on Eco Church’s YouTube channel.

StF needs you


Finally, a quick reminder that we are looking for a new Chair and new passionate members for the Singing the Faith Plus Reference Group. The closing date for applications is 22 March at noon.


Do take time to consider what experience and ideas you might offer to the group. It's not too late to find out more by downloading the role descriptions and the expression of interest forms on our volunteer jobs page.





Laurence Wareing @



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