Wren, Brian


b Romford, Essex 1936. Romford Liberty Grammar Sch; New Coll Oxford (BA Mod Langs 1960); Mansfield Coll Oxford 1960–62, followed by research on OT prophets (PhD 1968). He was ordained in 1965 to the Congregational (now URC) ministry, beginning at Hockley, Essex until 1970. He then worked with the Churches’ Committee on World Development, and 1976–83 for the Oxford-based Third World First. He has also worked with Christian Aid, Oxfam and War on Want, and in 1991 moved permanently to the USA. His hymnwriting began in 1962, and along with other books he has published several hymn-collections from Mainly Hymns (1980) onwards and including the autobiographical Piece Together Praise (1996), some texts revised many times as language and his own perception of it has moved on. In 1996 he wrote What Language Shall I Borrow?. He served on the committee for New Church Praise (1975); 13 of his items are in the 1991 URC book Rejoice and Sing, 10 in the Methodist Hymns and Psalms (1993). Formerly based in Decatur, Georgia, USA, he is represented in many current N American books. He was commended by Erik Routley in 1979 for ‘the felicitous expression of profound theological ideas’ and by Paul A Richardson (2005) for ‘the relation of a realistic view of daily life to an optimistic theology’. He has also taught and written on the vital connection between hymns and preaching. In 2009, living in NE Pennsylvania, he produced a further collection of texts 2004-08, Love’s Open Door. Nos.596, 650.

Hymns and songs by Wren, Brian

Number Hymn Name
596 Great God, your love has called us here
650 I come with joy, a child of God