Congratulations to the Rev. John Forster on the publication of Let us Sing to the Lord: Hymns for use during the Christian Year.
John has been writing hymns throughout his ministry. His very first hymn added three new verses to the old favourite ‘Jesus bids us shine’, so that it could be used at a Christingle service, way back in 1975 when for this country, this was a very new way of celebrating Christmas. He has written about 600 altogether and the new book includes 125 of them. Many of them have direct links with churches now in the Manchester circuit. Long Street folk love singing his hymns, and John wrote one for the opening of the new church at Trinity, Droylsden. Folk in the circuit support him strongly, especially other hymn-writers and preachers such as Clyde Parkin and Ken Whittaker. John doesn’t write tunes for his hymns but sets them to tunes from our Methodist hymnbooks, which makes them easy for us to sing.
John says he finds inspiration for his hymns sometimes in Sunday worship but most frequently on his morning walks. The words flow from his relationship with God, and at the same time nourish it. Worship is a living thing, not a duty – it keeps our relationship with God alive.
If you’d like to order a copy of Let us Sing to the Lord, it’s available from the publishers, Moorleys, via this link. We plan to use some of the hymns in our circuit worship to honour our God through the words of one of our own.