Hymnathon Great Success

Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer reaches Number One slot


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Just as in 2012 when St Michael's sang the whole New English Hymnal in a 30-hour Hymnathon, there was a close finish for the coveted top place.

After a last minute bidding tussle between rival supporters, Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer regained the Number One slot it had lost this earlier in the week to Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.

The Welsh anthem raised more than £1,500 for the Appeal, including its donations during the 2012 Hymnathon.

Gavin Graham and Sarah Gronmark cut the Hymnal cake

More than 200 people took part during the afternoon and evening with over 100 singing the final hymn just before 10pm. The event has already beaten its £5,000 target by more than 50 per cent.

By the end of the evening in St Michael & All Angels church, donations totalling over £7,800, including Gift Aid payments, had been received for the Organ & Parish Rooms Appeal. The JustGiving site page will be updated to reflect these on-the-night contributions and the church hopes that further donations will be made in coming weeks. You may still make donations to the Appeal, at Justgiving.com/top50 or by cash or cheque on the Gift Aid forms in church. The Hymnathon Top 50 page will remain open for several weeks for those who were not able to take part in person.

The events began at lunchtime with the Children's Hymnathon  

At 12.45pm, Orchard House School sang their own Top Ten hymns, followed at 2pm by Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School, and watched by many parents and others. You can see the hymns they chose here.

At 4.30pm, there was a Hymnathon Tea, with home-made cakes for sale in aid of the Organ and Parish Rooms Appeal, and the start of a raffle for the Hymnathon Hymnbooks cake, created by Sara Gronmark. It raised more than £150 and the cake was won by Gavin Graham, who generously said it should be cut and shared by everyone at the celebration party.

At 6pm, the Hymnathon Top 50 began with the Friday evening Mass, in which the hymns placed 50 and 49 were sung. Bidding continued to alter the Top 50 chart right through till after 9pm, when the Top 10 placings were finalised.

From 6.30 to 7pm, the singing was led by singers from Arts Ed, who opened our two previous Hymnathons in 1987 and 2012, together with St Michael's Junior Choir. The Addison Singers, who give regular concerts at St Michael's, led the singing from 7.30pm, followed by the serving team at St Michael's (pictured above); the gardening, flower, book and brass-cleaning groups; and, for the final 16 hymns, St Michael & All Angels Choir.

The final 25 hymns were introduced by the curate at St Michael's, Mother Melanie Marshall, and the sub-deacon Sarah Lenton, whose considerable knowledge of the New English Hymnal and its writers and composers, added greatly to the enjoyment of the evening.

The final hymn - the Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer - was introduced with delight by Fr Kevin Morris, the vicar of St Michael's, who does little to hide his Welsh heritage, particularly on the eve of St David's Day!

After this Grand Finale, there was a joyful Hymnathon Celebration in St Michael's Parish Hall, with drinks and sandwiches and the sharing of the Hymnathon Hymnbooks cake.


March 1, 2014

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