Scarecrow hymn inspires whole community

Here hangs a man discarded,
a scarecrow hoisted high,
a nonsense pointing nowhere
to all who hurry by.

(Singing the Faith 273)

This photo was taken by Russell Price at a recent community fun day organised by Holy Family Church, a Local Ecumenical Parish in Blackbird Leys near Oxford.

Inspired by Brian Wren’s hymn, “Here hangs a man discarded”, the congregation launched a scarecrow competition in order to raise money towards a new church roof. Around 80 scarecrows were made and paraded to the church, where local residents found music, a bouncy castle and plenty of food and drink. The award-winning scarecrow pictured here was created by “The Blackbirds”, a local junior football team.

Russell’s photo captures perfectly Brian’s hymn, which also asks – “Can such a clown of sorrows still bring a useful word when faith and hope seem phantoms and every hope absurd?” The Holy Family congregation sang the entire hymn at their morning service, in a building filled with worshippers and scarecrows.

Do you know of another hymn that has inspired a congregation to connect with its community? Let us know.

Or do youhave a photo that captures the meaning of a particular hymn? Send it to us, with your story, so we can share it with others.

Download a larger version of Russell’s picture for use in worship.

Categories: News stories, Wren, Brian.

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