30 hymns to enrich our singing

Christopher Idle has selected below 30 of his favourite hymns. There is also a podcast available for each hymn, where Chris talks about the words, followed by a reading of the hymn text by Lance and Sue Pierson. All podcasts available here.


1) New beginnings, Advent, Christmas

1. We have not walked these paths before  (FEN MEADOW)

2. Christ is surely coming, bringing his reward  (LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY)

3. Eternity once entered time  (ETERNITY ONCE ENTERED TIME)


2) Jesus' life and teaching

4. Jesus, come! for we invite you  (WESTMINSTER ABBEY)

5. Our Teacher and Master, Redeemer and Lord (ST DENIO)

6. Lord, you chose your first disciples  (DIM OND IESU)

7. My Lord, you wore no royal crown  (O WALY WALY)


3) Holy Week, Easter and Ascension

8. He stood before the court  (HEMPLAND)

9. When you prayed beneath the trees  (KELVINGROVE; WIDFORD)

10. Exult, creation round God's throne  (AGINCOURT)

11. Since our great high priest, Christ Jesus  (ALL SAINTS)


4) The Holy Spirit

12. Spirit of holiness, wisdom and faithfulness  (BLOW THE WIND SOUTHERLY)

13. Holy Spirit, heaven's breath  (HEAVEN’S BREATH)


5) The gathered church

14. Search our hearts, we pray, Lord  (CASWALL)

15. Before they leave the upper room (ST COLUMBA; BARBARA ALLEN)

16. In psalms and hymns of joyful praise  (FIFTY YEARS)


6) The church serving in the world

17. As the light upon the river  (LIVING HARVEST)

18. Lord, how we treasure helpers and carers (BUNESSAN)

19. Christ, grant me grace to let you wash my feet  (KERVAN COVE)


7) Creator and creation

20. The works of the Lord are created in wisdom  (THE BARD OF ARMAGH)

21. Creator God, with whom we share  (WINCHESTER NEW)


8) The Bible – its truth and its characters

22. Powerful in making us wise to salvation  (EPIPHANY HYMN)

23. I long to sing with Abraham  (LONGING TO SING)

24. Mary of the incarnation  (ODE TO JOY)


9) Psalms

25. This earth belongs to God  (TRUMPET VOLUNTARY)

26. When the LORD restored his people  (DOVEHOUSE)

27. Lord, hear my prayer! My cry shall come before you  (STRENGTH AND STAY)


10) Canticles and other paraphrases

28. I will sing the Lord's high triumph  (CWM RHONDDA)

29. God, we praise you! God we bless you!  (LUX EOI)

30. Then I saw a new heaven and earth  (EMILY’S DREAM)