Christians gathered in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, in the Houses of Parliament, to celebrate the power of singing and hymn-writing in the Christian faith.
The event was led by Keith and Kristyn Getty and hosted by Christians in Parliament, partly to thank God for the OBE Keith Getty had received in June from HM The Queen.
The event marked the first occasion in which an OBE has been given to an individual actively involved in contemporary church music, although, as Keith Getty was keen to point out, in 2003 Timothy Dudley-Smith was awarded an OBE for ‘services to hymnody’.
In the opulent, ancient chapel, Christians sang such songs as ‘The power of the cross’; ‘When I survey’ and ‘He will hold me fast, as well as ‘In Christ alone’. We also heard some new songs written by the Gettys.
Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, introduced the event and Ian Paisley MP for North Antrim, held a brief Q&A session with the Gettys. They spoke of God’s work in their lives, and what their music ministry aims to do to encourage Christians and spread the Word.
Keith Getty’s hymns, often written in collaboration with Stuart Townend, include ‘In Christ alone’, still one of the most frequently sung songs in UK churches.