When in Our Music God is Glorified: Fred Pratt Green (1903–2000) is widely regarded as the leading Methodist hymn writer England has produced since Charles Wesley. After studying for the ministry at Didsbury Theological College, he became chaplain at a Methodist girl’s school, where he married the teacher of French, Marjorie Dowsett. He later served several churches as pastor. While visiting one of his Sunday school pupils, he met Fallon Webb, a competent poet who encouraged him to write poetry on a regular basis. For nearly twenty years, the two men gave each other valuable feedback on their poetry.
When Green retired in 1969, he became a member of the group preparing Hymns and Songs, a supplement to The Methodist Hymn-Book. At the urging of fellow committee members, he wrote hymns to fill in gaps in the collection. The highly esteemed hymnologist and hymnist Erik Routley played a major role in introducing Fred Pratt Green’s work in the United States. Probably more of Green’s hymns have found their way into collections in the English-speaking world than any other twentieth-century hymn writer.
Green’s hymns in the 1991 Baptist Hymnal include When the Church of Jesus, The Church of Christ in Every Age, For the Fruit of All Creation, and When in Our Music God Is Glorified. Green wrote this last hymn in 1972 at the request of John Wilson. Green’s text fits well with either Charles V. Stanford’s tune ENGELBERG or Ralph Vaughan Williams’ tune SINE NOMINE.
Written by Harry Eskew, a teacher of hymnology for his entire adult life. An active member of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and a former editor of its journal The Hymn, with Hugh McElrath he wrote Sing with Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Hymnology. Read full bio at singwithunderstanding.com.