THE 50th birthday of a hymn book for young Christians, Youth Praise, was celebrated with an event in All Souls’, Langham Place, in London, this month.
Youth Praise, whose new hymns included “Tell out my soul”, was created by a former Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Michael Baughen, in response to musical trends in the 1960s. It was launched in Westminster Central Hall in 1966, at an event that was attended by Cliff Richard.
Bishop Baughen attended the anniversary service on 15 October, as well as Prebendaries Richard Bewes and David Wilson, and others who helped to compose and compile the collection of 150 hymns and songs.
Finding a publisher had been a struggle, Bishop Baughen said. “I trekked round the main Evangelical publishers. Each time, I was hardly given the time of day. They all told me it would be a failure, that there was no demand for such a book; that no song-book had sold more than 5000 copies.”
The book was eventually published by the Church Pastoral Aid Society, closely followed by a second edition, Youth Praise 2, which was launched at a sell-out event at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969. A third book, Psalm Praise, was produced, and, in 1980, the founders of Youth Praise formed a limited company, Jubilate Hymns. The company has since published several books, including Hymns for Today’s Church, Hymns for the People, World Praise, Carol Praise, and Sing Glory.