Burns, Edward (Eddie) Joseph
b Nelson, Lancs 1938. Baines’ Grammar Sch, Poulton-le-Fylde nr Blackpool, Lancs; Liverpool Univ (BSc Chemistry, 1958), St Catherine’s Soc Oxford (BA Theology, MA), and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford 1958–61. He was ordained in 1961. After curacies at Leyland (1961– 64) and Burnley (1964–67), both in Lancs, he then served as vicar at Chorley, and from 1975 at Fulwood, Preston, until his retirement in the same area in 2003. He was also a hospital chaplain at Preston 1981–94 and Hon Canon of Blackburn 1986–2003. In retirement he sometimes finds himself preaching 3 times on a Sunday, having rarely done so more than twice while in office; he has avoided any official attachment to one congregation, but the parish church he now normally attends has a 70- strong choir of men and boys. It is hard now to find any major hymn-book which omits his best-known credal hymn, which among other gospel truths has asserted the fact of Christ’s empty tomb during a period where this was being doubted or denied. This was his first hymn (see notes in EP1) and although he says that ‘none has taken off quite like it’, several others are in print and/or use. His ‘other’ text in HTC is the ‘scientist’s hymn’ O God, you give to all mankind/…who gives to humankind which features in The Worshiping Church (1990) and other N American books. Among others, he has also written hymns for a Trades Union Congress event in Blackpool (this one commissioned by the then bishop, but never used); one for a Good Friday 3-hour service, including all 7 ‘words from the cross’; a Trinitarian baptismal hymn; a 60th-anniversary hymn for Christian Aid; God of life and health and love for a St John’s Ambulance Service in Blackburn Cathedral; and All-loving Father, hear our prayer, grown from his long experience as chaplain to a maternity unit, and involvement there in some 136 peri-natal funerals. No.632.