Jubilate, as it eventually came to be known, was founded in the early 1960s by Michael Baughen (at one time Rector of All Soul's, Langham Place, London, and later Anglican Bishop of Chester) and friends closely involved in work among young people. The group pooled its talents to meet the challenge of a new generation in the UK, a generation which wished to extend its singing beyond the foursquare ways of metrical hymnody.

Breaking new ground

Initially no publisher could be found to support the first joint enterprise, Youth Praise (1966). The Church Pastoral Aid Society (a long-established English home missionary society) came to the rescue, later publishing Youth Praise 2 (1969). CPAS also took on Psalm Praise (1973), a contemporary effort to revitalize the use of Psalms. Youth Praise was a best seller in its time, with over 1 million copies in circulation, and Psalm Praise because of its diversity also broke new ground. Two books which continued with the same principles, Psalms for Today and Songs from the Psalms, followed in 1990.

The Pioneers

In the early 1970s the group comprised Michael Baughen, Richard Bewes, Christopher Collins, Timothy Dudley-Smith, Chritopher Idle, Edward Shirras, Michael Saward, James Seddon, Norman Warren, David Wilson and Michael Perry - a mixed bunch of talent, in terms of words and music.

Pioneering hymnal

In the mid-1970s, as an enlarged section of the group under Michael Baughen's leadership, the group began to apply itself to the production of a pioneering modern language hymnal. After years of conference and continuous application, Hymns for Today's Church was born in 1982. HTC sold widely in six separate editions.

In the USA

George Shorney of Hope Publishing in Carol Stream, Illinois, USA, had already enlisted the independent cooperation of Timothy Dudley-Smith, and then secured the alliance of the extended Jubilate group. George's determined effort to recruit English hymn writers has resulted in a mutual enrichment of the USA and UK repertoires. Thus Jubilate and its works have found their way into USA hymnals - Worship, Rejoice in the Lord, The Hymnal 1982, Psalter Hymnal, The Worshiping Church, The Baptist Hymnal, Christian Worship, Trinity Hymnal and many others. Similarly, many American hymns have emerged in Jubilate publications.

A mixture of styles

Jubilate authors and musicians - there are now more than 60 of them - differ remarkably in their style, taste and approach. Their breadth of style is also reflected in the variety of Jubilate publications, of which the most recent major publication is Sing Glory (1999). In addition, several of the Jubilate writers have music publications in their own right, often with other publishers.

Agency

Jubilate Hymns Ltd was established in 1980 as an agency to handle the growing catalogue of copyrights. The agency now administers the copyrights of more than 70 composers and writers. Distinct from many other copyright agencies, members retain owndership of their copyrights and Jubilate Hymns' role is to administer these to the copyright holders benefit. The Jubilate website contains almost all the published texts and tunes by agency members which appear in Jubilate books, and many which appear in books from other publishers.

Jubilate Hymns Ltd was originally governed by a board of three directors, of whom Michael Baughen was the first Chairman. Michael Baughen handed on the chairmanship to Michael Saward in 1999, then to Steve James in 2001 and Noël Tredinnick in 2012. David Wilson, David Peacock, David Iliff, Joel Payne, Anne Harrison and Peter Moger have all served as directors.

The present board of directors is made up of Noël Tredinnick (chairman), David Iliff, Roger Peach and Sam Hargreaves.

The Jubilate Trust

Shortly after the incorporation of Jubilate Hymns Ltd, the Jubilate Trust was created to distribute any agency profits - particularly from the jointly held copyrights - towards the christian hymn and song writing.

Song & Hymn Writers Foundation

In 2016, the Jubilate Hymns directors and shareholders took the bold step of restructuring their operations, establishing a new charity, the Song & Hymn Writers Foundation (SHWF), and making Jubilate Hymns a subsidiary trading company to support the work of the charity. Jubilate Hymns would continue to adminster copyrights, now donating any profits to the new charity. Jubilate and Resound Worship would now become expressions of SHWF, and their remit would grow to include a more far reaching programme of education and resourcing, for song and hymn writers from the grass roots upwards, sharing the Jubilate values for the next generation.