One of the popular options on the free 24-hour Daily Hope Prayer Line is ‘Hymns We Love’. This started in a local church. Here’s the story:
One of the largest weekly gatherings for seniors in the UK, ‘Connections’ welcomes over 150 guests to Holy Trinity Church in Claygate, Surrey. Started 10 years ago by Pippa Cramer, its vision is “to create a safe and welcoming community for seniors where they can connect with each other and the church and to provide the opportunity to demonstrate and share the love of Jesus”. It reaches elderly church and non-church members, many of whom are lonely and isolated, building a community of support and friendship that has also served as a bridge into church.
‘Hymns We Love’ has grown out of ‘Connections’ and is a gentle, engaging and accessible way of exploring the Christian faith with older people, providing them with comfort and hope. The familiarity of these carefully selected, wonderful hymns, which this generation have grown up with, means that the words and tunes are almost part of their DNA. Music recognition is one of the last things to go as memory declines, so many living with dementia are able to connect with and enjoy ‘Hymns We Love’.
‘Hymns We Love’ explores the Christian faith through 5 carefully selected, wonderful and well-known hymns. Each day, we sing the hymn and then look at what we can learn from it and from its author. We then sing the hymn again before ending with a short prayer for ourselves and those around us in these difficult times.
The five hymns explored are:
- How Great Thou art! –Focusing on God the Holy Creator
- Rock of Ages – Focusing on God our Rescuer and Redeemer
- Amazing Grace – Focusing on God our Restorer and Grace-giver
- The Lord’s my Shepherd – Focusing on God our Guide and Comforter
- And can it be? – Focusing on God our Friend forever, whom we can trust and have confidence in.