Hymn #309: We Are Your People

Brian Arthur Wren (b. 1936) wrote this text for the 1973 hymnal of the United Reformed Church of England and Wales, New Church Praise.  As revised by the author in 1993, the text is in the form of a corporate prayer to the Holy Spirit by the church, which is Christ's body.

 

Brian Wren was ordained a minister of the Congregational Church of Britain and Wales in 1965.  This denomination later merged with others to become the United Reformed Church in Great Britain.  Sing 1983, Wren has devoted himself to a "freelance" ministry, which is realized through writing hymns and leading workshops.

John Whitridge Wilson (1905-1992) composed the tune WHITFIELD in 1975 and named it in memory of his wife, Mary Whitfield, whose father chaired the Congregational Union of England and Wales.  The hymn was premiered in 1977 at Westminster Abbey, where Wilson founded an annual hymn festival, "Come and Sing."

 

John Wilson studied mathematics and physics but chose a career in music instead.  A respected scholar and teacher, he served on the editorial committees of eight hymnals.  Wilson was also treasurer of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland.