Wigmore, Paul


b Clapton, E London 1925. d May 16th, 2014. At schools in Middx, Herts and Barnstaple, Devon. After a series of brief jobs including a mechanical engineering apprenticeship cut short by injury and with two firms in Watford, he joined Kodak (Harrow) at 16, later travelling the world as art director for major calendar projects and as advertising editor before moving to portraiture. He worked briefly as an RAF photographer, and discovered the verse of Ogden Nash; he also trained in haematology and medical radiography, and worked at the BMS Christian Medical Coll, Ludhiana, N India (1961–63), before returning to the UK to freelance in photojournalism. He then rejoined Kodak as advertising copywriter, editor and art director from 1970 until his early retirement to Bitton, Gloucestershire, in 1986. He has been a lifelong lover of verse, writing his first poems in 1937 (aged 11) and encouraged by John Betjeman in the 1980s; his first two books of poems were published soon after he retired. His first published hymn, requested by Emmanuel Ch Northwood, was May we, O Holy Spirit, bear your fruit, appearing in HTC in 1982. Since then his work, totalling some 90 texts in print, has come in several other ‘Jubilate’ publications; he also co-edited the ground-breaking Worship Songs Ancient and Modern (1992). He has written texts for songs, song cycles and cantatas for Christian seasons and festivals, with music composed by John Barnard, (qv), Paul Edwards, David Iliff, John Dankworth and many others. 15 of his texts feature in The Carol Book (2005), 11 in Come Celebrate (self-selected texts by living authors, 2009), and 7 on the 2006 CD, Timeless Love: the hymn tunes of John Barnard to texts by contemporary authors. His own autobiography (2006) is A Nice Light for Portraits. He became a member of the Bath Abbey congregation. No.61.

Hymns and songs by Wigmore, Paul

Number Hymn Name
61 O God, hear me calling and answer, I pray!