Preston, David George
Author & Composer
b London 1939. d 2020. Archbishop Tenison’s Grammar School, Kennington, London; Keble College Oxford (MA Mod Langs.) He worked as a French Teacher, including 11 years at Ahmadu Bello Univ, Nigeria, and gained a PhD on the French Christian poet Pierre Emmanuel (1916 84). A member of Carey Baptist Ch, Reading, for many years, he later moved to Alweston, nr Sherborne, Dorset. He compiled The Book of Praises (Carey Publications, Liverpool) in 1987, with versions of 71 Psalms; these include modified texts of Watts and a few other classic paraphrasers, but most are by contemporary writers including himself. 60 of his metrical Psalm versions are so far published, including one each in Sing Glory (2000), the Scottish Church Hymnary 4th Edn (2005) and Sing Praise (2010), and 3 in the 2004 edn of CH; also 10 tunes. His writing and composing has taken place in Leicester, Reading, Nigeria and his present home; he was a member of the editorial board throughout the preparation of Praise! and had a major share in the choice of music for the Psalm texts (1-150). His convictions about the Psalms, as expressed in the Introduction to BP, are that ‘There is nothing to compare with their blend of the subjective and the objective, the inner life and practical goodness, the knowledge of one’s own rebellious heart and the knowledge of God…Today’s general neglect of congregational Psalm singing is a symptom of the spiritual malaise of our churches. When the preaching of the Gospel has prospered, bringing into being churches vibrant with spiritual life, men and women have taken great delight in praising their Maker and Redeemer through these scriptural hymns’. 15 of his own, self-selected, feature as his share of ‘contemporary hymns’ in the 2009 Come Celebrate; he has also served as a meticulous proof-reader. Nos.1, 2A, 5*, 6, 7, 11, 15, 16, 17, 19A, 24A, 27A, 30B, 32*, 33*, 38, 40, 42, 43, 47, 51*, 52, 55, 57*, 64, 66, 74, 76, 77, 84, 90, 91A, 96*, 97, 99, 100B, 101, 114*, 120, 126, 132, 139, 142*, 143, 145A, 147*, 824*, 830*, 963*.