The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Timothy Dudley-Smith

Bishop Dudley-Smith was born 26 December 1926 in Manchester, England. He was educated at Tonbridge School and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was ordained a deacon in 1950 and a priest in 1951. He served as Archdeacon of Norwich, 1973-81 and as Bishop of Thetford, 1981-91. Since his retirement in 1991, he has lived in the Cathedral City of Salisbury, England.

Bishop Dudley-Smith has been writing hymn texts for more than 30 years. This usually happened during his holidays in Cornwall and he still writes 6 or 8 new hymns each year. As a hymn writer, has published approximately 250 hymn texts (no music, but many to well-known tunes) in four single-author collections (see below). Many of his hymns have appeared in published hymnals throughout the English-speaking world and in translation, including six in the New English Hymnal (1986). Eighteen Dudley-Smith hymn texts can be found in Hope's new hymnal Worship & Rejoice (2001). He is a member of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland. The Hymn Society of the United States and Canada has named him a "Fellow", a rare accomplishment for a British hymn writer.

His collections include:

Asked to write the biography of his friend John Stott the task required two volumes. The first volume JOHN STOTT - THE MAKING OF A LEADER won him the distinction of being the first recipient of the John C. Pollock award for Christian Biography. The Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, made the presentation.

He has just completed Volume Two of the biography of John Stott. These books are published by Intervarsity Press in Westmont, Illinois.

All hymn texts by this writer are available for reproduction by local churches holding a CCLI license without further permission; subject to the terms of their license and entry in their return to CCLI in the usual way. Inquiries about performing or mechanical rights should be addressed to PRS or MCPS quoting the author's CAE number: 008745872.

Bishop Dudley-Smith controls the copyrights on his texts in the U.K., Ireland, Africa and all of Europe. Hope Publishing Company controls his copyrights in the United States and the rest of the world.

New tunes and settings have been created by the English composer David Lee, and can be found at his web site, Service Music. Mr. Lee has graciously placed much of his music in the public domain. Reproduction of the texts of Bishop Dudley-Smith at Mr. Lee's site are through special arrangement with the Bishop and Hope Publishing. Because that arrangement does not extend to this site, the texts cannot be reproduced here.

Some of the Bishop's Christmas hymns include:

Hymns with a link open in a new window at David Lee's Service Music; both lyrics and music are available at his site. Other congregational hymns and choir anthems, including Christmas carols and hymns, can also be found here also. Mr. Lee is a member of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland. See his biography for more information.

One of the Bishop's published collections contains thirty Christmas carols and hymns, with full music (some new tunes, some familiar). It is the 2001 publication Beneath a Travelling Star (music editor, Lionel Dakers, CBE) published jointly by Canterbury Press, UK, and Hope Publishing Co., USA. It can be ordered from the website of Bishop Dudley-Smith.

Many of the Bishop's hymns are available in full on the CD-ROM HymnQuest, together with comprehensive indexes, print-out facilities, biographical information and so on. Details of Hymnquest (which is of particular interest to churches holding a CCLI licence) can be obtained from Stainer & Bell. Note that for copyright reasons HymnQuest is only available for sale in the UK & Eire.

Additional biographical and other information can be found in Who's Who, Crockford's Clerical Directory.

Antony Kearns and Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith at the opening of HymnQuest 2000




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