It has always been our belief that, as well as working to make the hymns published in Singing the Faith well known and well used, it is also important to encourage new hymn writing. For that reason, we publish new or unpublished hymns on the website under Hymns only online. You can look at the hymns we have published, listed by theme, at Contents list: new hymns published on StF+.
How to submit a hymn
The easiest way to submit your text and/or tune is via our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What are we looking for?
- Hymns of all styles, including both more traditional metered hymns and also worship songs most appropriate for accompaniment by praise bands or guitars
- Texts that complement what is already included in Singing the Faith – either addressing topics or concerns under-represented in the book or speaking to familiar subjects in fresh and original ways
- Words that express our Christian faith and experience in language that is accessible to a contemporary audience and avoids repeating phrases that have “aged” or even become clichéd over the years
- Inclusive language – noting the 2009 Methodist Conference requirement that new material should be “gender inclusive in relation to people and offer a balance of gender language in relation to God”
- Texts that convey authentic feelings and thoughts: are they direct, honest, accessible and clear?
- Words that are appropriate theologically to Methodist beliefs and values (see What is distinctive about Methodism and a brief summary of Methodist doctrine)
How are hymns chosen?
All submitted texts (and tunes) are circulated around a small group of experienced worship leaders, musicians and theologians. Together, they endeavour to reach a consensus about a hymn, or at least form a majority view based on the above criteria. (A slightly different approach will be taken to event-specific hymns – see below.)
If it is decided not to publish hymn then we respond with an explanation and offer critical and positive feedback.
On StF+ we endeavour to publish new or recent material that not only complements the contents of Singing the Faith but also has enduring value. However, we recognise that hymns responding to a recent news event or topical subject are welcomed by many church members. (See Singing the Moment 1.)
The editor will consider “event-specific” hymns for immediate publication and related publicity; they will then be considered by the StF hymn submissions group for longer-term inclusion on the website. Amongst other factors will be whether a hymn still has value without direct knowledge of its initial inspiration.
When a hymn is submitted as a text only with a tune suggestion it is preferable that tunes should be chosen from Singing the Faith. Sometimes, we suggest alternatives. Hymns and songs that require or have original tunes should be submitted with those tunes in a form that can be reproduced on the website.
Terms of publication
All hymns reproduced on Singing the Faith Plus are published on the understanding that they can be used freely by site-users (for non commercial purposes), with any copyright information printed as appropriate.