The Big Sing - Board of Mission in

The Big Sing 2014 'Old Hymns New Ways'

Saturday 26 April 2014, Assembly  Buildings Belfast

Old Hymns in New Ways. (This is my story, this is my song)

By Esther Church (composer of 'Shepherd Songs, Psalm 23', used at the Big Sing, Spires, May 2013)

Over recent years many folks, including recording artists, have rediscovered or returned to the doctrinal and musical richness and heritage found in the hymnody of church history....many others it could be said, never lost them....

In April, on Saturday the 27th of April, in The Spires Centre, Belfast, we hope to gather together singers and musicians to enjoy some of these great hymns and texts in musical and hopefully artistic contexts; doing exactly as it says on the tin, I mean title, taking old hymns and using them in newer ways. 

A  church pack costs £50.00 per church regardless of how many people come from that church.  This contains all the paper music  and  2 CD's  that you will need for learning the songs beforehand and on the day, and can be photocopied and the CD reproduced as many times as you wish.  If it helps, the last time we did this, some individuals who wanted to come along asked if they could join with the choir/music group of a local church in their area who were attending.  

A ticket is £10.00 per person.  This will be your entry to the event and includes lunch and two coffee breaks.

Tickets and packs and a full programme will not be available until the end of February.


Instrumentalists are not required to bring their instruments.

Why the subtitle? Well, I think we can all recognise the powerful place of hymn and song to our personal salvation story, the stages of our walk with Jesus and our collective resonance with great iconic hymns. A stage further is recognising this in others, of whatever generation, hearing their story, their song and saying 'I will sing it with you'.

The day will fall into three main practical sessions and close with a worship session crafting elements of hymn, song, prayer, story and visual together.

Session one will look at medleys and how hymns and more contemporary worship songs can be grafted together in a complimentary way, both musically and thematically, and the nuts and bolts of how to approach this. 

Session two will look at recent choral arrangements of hymns, including some of my own and other folk's arrangements. (A choral pack with CD and music copies will again be made available in advance to those registering to come). We will also look at some sources of good materials including online music specialists and free downloadable resources. Musicians wondering about whether this session is of value to you the answer is yes, as we will be using some of the material in the worship session, but more simply, just having you there is of value.

Session three will look at a range of hymns set in newer contexts for corporate use, such as new tunes or new musical interpretations of the original tunes. A booklet of materials and music accompanying Session one and Session three will be given out on the day. 

The day will close in the late afternoon with a culminating worship session combining these threads.

This will be a practical day, full of musical participation and modelling of ideas, ranging from acoustic to band, choral to congregational....and plenty of materials to take away. It is also a chance for people to be together, and there will be space at lunchtime to talk. This is not a day designed for one particular type of music, or musician, or singer, or age-group...what it is, is a warm invitation to musicians and singers of all ages to sing our story, our song, together. 

For more information email: