Kendrick, Graham Andrew

Author & Composer

b Blisworth, Northants 1950. Son of a Baptist minister who moved with the family to Laindon (Essex) and Putney. He took a step of faith at the age of 5, and began composing songs as a 15- year old, teaching himself to play the piano before he learned to read music. Studied at Avery Hill College, SE London (Cert Ed 1972) before joining Clive Calver and others in an evangelistic team in 1972. He toured schools and colleges with his music group and worked with YWAM, as Musical Director of British Youth for Christ (1976–80), and at St Michael-le-Belfry Ch, York, eventually joining the church leadership team of the S London Ichthus Fellowship (1984–2004) to specialise in music. His first published songs were written in the 1970s, and rapidly established him as the prominent songwriter/musician of a movement variously described as ‘house/new church’, ‘renewal’ or ‘restorationist’. His 1978 tour was the catalyst for the annual Spring Harvest gatherings where his work was often first aired; he pioneered praise marches with the initial ‘Make Way’, nation-wide events and a global ‘March for Jesus’ involving an estimated 12 million people from 177 nations in 1994. Other forms of open-air celebration and witness also had a strong musical element. He has lectured and written on this approach, produced ideas and texts for children and for seasons and special occasions, and published material on music, evangelism and worship. In the 1990s his songs, already well-represented in MP, began to appear in mainstream British hymnals; and The Source (for which he was consultant editor) included most of his significant material to date as well as other work. Between 1971 and 2000 he produced 28 albums. CH 2004 edn included 11 of his songs. Some of his 300-plus compositions are intentionally ephemeral or otherwise limited in scope; others go some way towards narrowing the gap between hymns and songs, while often requiring musical expertise for adequate performance. His more recent work has a strong element of social and moral concern. Almost invariably, text and tune go together. He has appeared at major events in most denominations, and lives with his family at Croydon, Surrey. Among other honours he has received a Dove award for international work, 1995. See also Selling Worship by Pete Ward (2005) where he is often quoted and his development sympathetically discussed. Recent indications of his broad acceptance are his 2 items in Common Praise (2000) and 11 in both Christian Hymns (2004 edn) and Sing Praise (2010). Nos.200, 207, 294, 315, 336, 354, 358, 365, 369, 384, 396, 397, 415, 434, 464, 468, 489, 494, 533, 589, 619, 667, 674, 700, 723, 744, 803, 816, 826, 835, 944, 953, 955, 957.