Andrew Pratt was born in Paignton, Devon, in 1948. For his first degree, he studied zoology (B.S. Hons., London) before going to the University College of North Wales in Bangor. Andrew obtained an M.S. in marine biology, which was partly dependent on a thesis on the "Effects of Sympatho-Mimetic Drugs on the Rectum of Pleuronectes Platessa" (effects of drugs on the guts of the plaice). From there, he went to St Luke's College, Exeter, since absorbed into Exeter University, to study for a postgraduate certificate in education. He taught science for several years in secondary schools before entering the Methodist ministry.
During his studies in marine biology, he began to foster a belief in God. He became a member of the Methodist Church in Exeter. Moving to Essex, he saw little of the church: Both of his parents died in the space of a year, and he was away seeing them on weekends. In Wrexham in North Wales, he sensed a call to the ministry; and in 1979, he went for theological training at the Queen's Ecumenical College in Birmingham. He was there for three years, partly doing a postgraduate diploma in theology at Birmingham University and partly doing ministerial training. It was there that Andrew began to write hymns as a means of exploring theology. He had already written poems (mainly for private consumption!), one of which was published in a college magazine at St Luke's in 1972.
Since leaving Birmingham, Andrew has served in various circuits in the North West of England. While in Nantwich, he began to achieve publication of his texts. He has written more than 400 hymns and has had two author collections published, with a third in preparation. Blinded by the Dazzle and Whatever Name or Creed were by published Stainer & Bell Ltd. and are available through The Hymn Society in the US & Canada.
On two consecutive years, Andrew entered the Pratt Green Essay Competition, achieving second and joint first prizes. This work acted as a springboard for his research in hymnody. In 1997 he received an M.A in English from the University of Durham for his research into Frederick Faber's Hymns on the Four Last Things. He has since obtained a Ph.D. from Liverpool University for a study of the origins of the Methodist Hymn Book (1933), now published by Epworth in the United Kingdom as O For a Thousand Tongues (2004).
Andrew lectures at Hartley Victoria College (part of the Luther King Partnership for Theological Education in Manchester, England). He broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio Merseyside and has appeared on BBC television's Songs of Praise. He edits the Bulletin of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland and has regularly led workshops on hymn writing.
Many of his hymns have been inspired by, or have responded to, contemporary situations. Hymns on 9/11 and the tsunami were written very quickly in response to these tragedies. He lost his only son (age 22) in an accident. He feels empathy with people caught up in tragic situations.
Current Research and Publications:
Andrew Pratt is the author of an article titled, The Pros and Cons of Inter-Faith Hymnody published in the Bulletin of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, April 2005. He gave a joint paper and entered into debate with Alan Gaunt and Michael Saward on this subject at the Society's Conference of 2005.
He has completed an article on the influence of Charles Wesley on contemporary hymnody for the book, Charles Wesley: Life, Literature Legacy, edit. Rev. Prof. Kenneth Newport & Dr. Ted Campbell. The bookcontains the most substantial critical assessment of the work of Charles Wesley to have been composed. It was published simultaneously in the UK and USA in 2007. Andrew is also preparing a book with the working title Charles Wesley Hymns and Reflections, for the Methodist Publishing House. He has written the entry on Methodism (1791-present), together with some smaller articles, for a new Dictionary of Hymnology, The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, to be published by the Canterbury Press in the UK and by Eerdmans in the USA. He has prepared a collection of hymns, Reclaiming Praise: Hymns from a Spiritual Journey, published by Stainer & Bell Ltd., together with an anthology of original worship material related to death and bereavement (jointly authored with Marjorie Dobson), Poppies and Snowdrops. In the autumn of 2005, he led a workshop on creative worship in Kirkby Moorside. He was a leader of a hymn writing workshop in Pershore and preached in Pershore Abbey. He gave a paper on Christmas hymns for an Oxford University Day School in December 2005.
Andrew continues to serve as editor of The Hymn Society Bulletin, is a member of the board of the Methodist Publishing House and the Music Resource Group, preparing new hymn resources for the Connexion. He is a trustee of the Pratt Green Trust, which provides grants for work in hymnology. He was invited to appear on BBC's Songs of Praise as an expert on the Nation's Favourite Hymns, and he continues to broadcast regularly on Radio Merseyside. Within the Luther King Partnership for Theological Education, he lectures on liturgy, church history, and Ministry; is responsible for coordinating worship; and convenes the Bursary Committee. He is a past chair of the Methodist Peace Fellowship. He has been invited to Drew in 2007 to lead the "Ministry and Imagination" course as part of the "Worship, Spirituality, and Preaching" D.Min. program.
Hymns Available by Andrew Pratt on the Discipleship Ministries Website:
- A Twisting Wind That Wreaks Such Devastation
- Abolition of the Slave Trade
- Best of All Is God Is With Us
- Beyond the Bounds of Galilee
- Carol for Christmas
- Christ Said Accept the Stranger
- Christmas Is Real - Christmas Hymn
- Confession Is Communion with God
- Doubt, Composed in Whispered Voices: An Easter Hymn
- Easter Joy
- Eternal Fury Fires the Saints
- Filled with Anger and Compassion
- Footprints Where Your People Tread
- God Is Dying with the Children
- God's Aim Is Love for All Who Live
- Great God of All Creation (Aurelia) - Harvest Hymn
- Great God of All Creation (Ellacombe) - Harvest Hymn
- Great God, the Power, the Force Behind Creation
- <a data-cke-saved-href="/resources/great-god-your-love-has-held-our-lives-a-hymn-of-healing-and-remembrance-fo target=" href="/resources/great-god-your-love-has-held-our-lives-a-hymn-of-healing-and-remembrance-fo target=" _blank"="">Great God, Your Love Has Held Our Lives: A Hymn of Healing and Remembrance for September 11
- Here Before the Mountains' Grandeur (Benjamin's Tune)
- Here Before the Mountains' Grandeur (Lauda Anima)
- Here In Joy We Offer Praises (Hymn To Joy)
- Here In Joy We Offer Praises (Lewis Folk Melody)
- Here in the Dryness and Dust of Our Climate
- Here Is Peace - Hymn in Celebration of Peace with Justice
- Here Where Dreams Are More Than Visions - Hymn for Black History Month
- Herod Waiting, Herod Watching
- Homes That Once Held Joy and Laughter - Hymn after Hurricane Katrina
- Hopeless to Help in This Violence
- If God Created All We See (Kleinheksel Sr.)
- If God Created All We See (Walker's Southern Harmony)
- If We Claim to Love Our Neighbor
- If We Had Heard and Understood
- In Every Face We See the Pain
- In the Heat of Summer Sunshine
- Is This The Judgement Of A God?
- It Seems Inhuman, Who Could Kill
- Mingled Tears Of Memory (Hinsdale)
- Mingled Tears Of Memory (Morning Song)
- Much Brighter than a Thousand Suns
- On Friday, When the Sky Was Dark (Kleinheksel)
- On Friday, When the Sky Was Dark (St. Magnus)
- Perfect Law We Fail to Keep - New Covenant Hymn
- People of a Rainbow Nation
- Quaking Ground, the Moving Earth
- Seeing Death and Desecration
- Sometimes We Feel Such Utter Loss (Maryton)
- Sometimes We Feel Such Utter Loss (Red Bank)
- Sound the Song of Love
- Southern Hemisphere Christmas Hymns
- Spilling Sunshine, Love and Laughter - An Easter Hymn
- The Challenge of Migration
- The Witnesses Are Watching
- There Are No Strangers To God's Love
- Tsunami Hymns
- Upturned World, the Bankers Humbled
- Undercurrent Breaks Our Grip - Tsunami Hymn
- We Cannot Be Dismissive (Llangloffan) - Response to the War in Iraq
- We Cannot Be Dismissive (Timber Lake) - Response to the War in Iraq
- We Cannot Gloat: A Time for Grief — A hymn composed on the occasion of the death of Osama bin Laden
- We Come to You, O God, As Friends - for World Aids Day and All Who Suffer
- We Once Acclaimed Your Name As "Love"
- We Should Not Live Through This Without a Protest - Wake of Middle East Violence
- We Understand Tectonic Plates - Tsunami Hymn
- We Wring Our Hands in Hopelessness
- What Better Way to Spend the Night (Christmas Hymn)
- What Do We Do? How Can We Cope?
- When a Leader, Feared or Followed
- When Every Source of Hope Is Torn (Melita)
- When Every Source of Hope Is Torn (Revere)
- Why Put Our Faith in Transient Things