Saward, Michael John


b Blackheath, SE London 1932; d Switzerland 2015. Eltham Coll; Bristol Univ and Tyndale Hall Bristol (BA); ordained 1956. He ministered in Croydon, Edgware and Liverpool before becoming the C of E’s Radio and TV Officer 1967–72. From 1972 to 1991 he served W London incumbencies in Fulham and Ealing; during the latter he barely survived a vicious attack on himself and his family at the vicarage, by intruders high on drugs. He then became Canon Treasurer of St Paul’s Cathedral from 1991, providing one of the two evangelical voices heard throughout the decade from the cathedral pulpit; some sermons were published in 1997 as These are the Facts (a title from hymn 629). He retired to Wapping, E London, in 2000. He was a Church Commissioner and General Synod member; a prolific writer, speaker and broadcaster on the local and national church, doctrine, mission, liturgy, sexual ethics, baptism and hymnody. His book Signed, Sealed, Delivered: finding the key to the Bible (2004) explores the concept of ‘covenant’ as that key.

From early 1962 onwards he wrote over 100 hymn texts, his first ones including ‘Christ triumphant’ were published in Youth Praise (1966, 1969), followed by several in Psalm Praise (1973) and Hymns for Today’s Church (1982) of which he was words editor. He was a founding Director and later Chairman of Jubilate Hymns, with a leading role in other Jubilate collections including Sing Glory (1999) which features 23 of his hymns. 75 of them were published in 2006, with an introduction and brief notes, in Christ Triumphant and other hymns. In 2009 he initiated and edited Come Celebrate, a unique collection of 291 lesser-known hymn-texts by 20 living authors, 14 of whom are represented in Praise! He said of himself, ‘My style is deliberately punchy and I love to use strong, graphic illustration’. Nos.119D, 162, 166, 249, 291, 446, 525, 592, 629, 635, 656, 849, 865*.