Dudley-Smith, Timothy

Author

b Manchester 1926. Tonbridge School, Kent, Pembroke Coll Camb, and Ridley Hall Camb; ordained (CofE) 1950. After ministry at Northumberland Heath (nr Erith, Kent) and Bermondsey (SE London) he worked with the Evangelical Alliance, editing Crusade magazine before moving to the Church Pastoral Aid Society, becoming Gen Sec in 1965. Subsequently he became Archdeacon of Norwich (73–81), then suffragan Bp of Thetford until his retirement to Ford, nr Salisbury, in 1992. A writer of verse (including a mastery of the comic sort) from his youth, he is seen by Prof J R Watson (in The English Hymn, 1997) as igniting the late 20th cent ‘hymn explosion’ with his 1961 Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord, one of the hymns from that period in the widest use. He is the author of over 250 hymn texts in a similar number of hymnals worldwide, first collected in Lift Every Heart (1984), most recently in A House of Praise ( 2003). The latest of 4 smaller supplements, A Door for the Word, appeared in 2006, and 2 smaller booklets of his texts with accompanying music were published in 2001 and 2006: respectively Beneath a Travelling Star and A Calendar of Praise.

For many years the Bible commentator Derek Kidner was a mentor for most of TDS’s early drafts. While some were begun or completed at home, on trains or elsewhere, several were the fruit of family holidays on the Cornish coast, as a pre-breakfast employment (and delight) overlooking the beach near The Lizard. As reviewers have often observed, his texts are notable for their varied metres, disciplined rhyming, and biblical content; the theme of redemption through the cross and the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is a theme encountered consistently, naturally and with variety; so is the fact that ‘the Lord is risen’. Without plagiarising, the hymns deliberately draw on a wide range of earlier poets and other authors for suggested ideas, as the attached notes fully illustrate. 37 items are included in Sing Glory (1999); 18 are in the N American Worship and Rejoice (2001), 9 in the 2005 edn of A Panorama of Christian Hymnody and 33 in the new Anglo- Chinese Hymns of Universal Praise (new edn, 2006). His other books include A Flame of Love: A personal choice of Charles Wesley’s verse ( 1987), Praying with the English Hymn-writers (1989), and a 2 vol biography (the first) of John R W Stott (1999, 2001). He has served on editorial groups for Psalm Praise (1973) and Common Praise (2000), and has addressed and been honoured by both the N American and British Hymn Societies, respectively as Fellow and Hon Vice-President. In 2003 he was awarded the OBE ‘for services to hymnody’. Hymn festivals in Tunbridge Wells and Salisbury, together with an extended BBC ‘Sunday Half Hour’ on New Year’s Eve, marked his 80th birthday at the end of 2006, following the publication of a seasonallyarranged selection of 30 texts in A Calendar of Praise (with music, mostly traditional). In an opening address to the Hymn Soc’s Guildford conference in its 70th year (also 2006), TDS spoke of his (and our) ups and downs as ‘Snakes and Ladders’, concluding with that greatest of ‘ladders’ from Gen 28, referred to in Elizabeth’s Clephane’s text (699) which has meant everything to him: ‘so seems my Saviour’s cross to me/ a ladder up to heaven’. Nos.10, 20, 25, 26, 32, 34, 41, 56, 60, 63, 65, 69B, 72, 73, 91B, 115, 119H, 134, 141, 218, 238, 320, 327, 351, 360, 389, 402, 405, 410, 413, 436, 459, 466, 488, 497, 516, 531, 553, 558, 623, 628, 659, 688, 697, 746, 750, 784, 823, 924, 925, 939, 949, 951.

Hymns and songs by Dudley-Smith, Timothy

Number Hymn Name
10 In my hour of grief or need
20 The Lord be near us as we pray
25 All my soul to God I raise
26 In judgement, Lord, arise
32 Happy are those, beyond all measure blessed
34 Tell his praise in song and story
41 Lord, may our hearts within us burn
56 Merciful and gracious be
60 When troubles come and hopes depart
63 God is my great desire
65 Every heart its tribute pays
69B Help me, O God, and hear my cry
72 A King on high is reigning
73 What blessings God bestows
91B Safe in the shadow of the Lord
115 Not to us be glory given
119H The will of God to mark my way
134 Bless the Lord as day departs
141 Come quickly, Lord, and hear the cries
218 Lord, as the day begins
238 Here on the threshold of a new beginning
320 Name of all majesty
327 Praise be to Christ in whom we see
351 Child of the stable’s secret birth
360 Holy child, how still you lie
389 Christ our Redeemer knew temptation’s hour
402 O changeless Christ, for ever new
405 The darkness turns to dawn
410 A purple robe, a crown of thorn
413 Approach with awe this holiest place
436 No weight of gold or silver
459 Come and see where Jesus lay
466 Jesus, Prince and Saviour
488 Heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship
497 He walks among the golden lamps
516 When the Lord in glory comes
531 Lord of the church, we pray for our renewing
553 God in his wisdom, for our learning
558 O God who shaped the starry skies
623 Good news of God above
628 Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
659 We come as guests invited
688 Born by the Holy Spirit’s breath
697 Above the voices of the world around me
746 As water to the thirsty
750 The Lord made man, the scriptures tell
784 O Christ the same, through all our story’s pages
823 Almighty Lord most high, draw near
924 O God, whose all-sustaining hand
925 Remember, Lord, the world you made
939 When to our world the Saviour came
949 Behold a broken world, we pray
951 Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided
1001 God is the giver
1002 God shall my comfort be
1005 Risen Lord in splendour seated
1006 Come, watch with us
1009 The God who set the stars in space
1019 Give thanks to God and honour those
1020 God gives a new beginning
1025 Through centuries long
1042 The stars declare his glory
1077 O God of our salvation
1136 Though one with God in form divine
1166 At the throne of grace
1174 Light of the world, true light divine