By: Kim Wilkinson
In Christ Alone, the hymn co-written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend has been voted by the British public as the third most popular hymn of all time in the UK’s Favourite Hymns, a BBC Songs of Praise special programme.
The hymn, which was the most modern hymn to be nominated and the highest to feature living writers, was showcased alongside much-loved favourites including Abide With Me, Amazing Grace, and Guide Me, O Thy Great Redeemer, and was voted for by thousands of viewers across the UK.
The show, which was hosted by much-loved singer Aled Jones, featured appearances from Black Panther star, Sope Aluko, De Montfort University Gospel Choir, Katherine Jenkins and The Kingdom Choir, who found notoriety after their appearance at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meagan Markel.
Keith Getty OBE says, “We are honoured to be included in this illustrious list. The true story of In Christ Alone is that I found an unpaid electricity bill in my office and on the back of it I had written a melody, and played it, and recorded it and then sent it to Stuart Townend – a couple of months later we had In Christ Alone and the rest is history.”
Keith and Kristyn Getty
Keith Getty and his wife Kristyn occupy a unique space in the world of music as preeminent modern hymn writers and global ambassadors for the genre. The Gettys have helped reinvent the traditional hymn form and invigorate an interest in hymns of a whole new generation of people, creating a catalogue of songs teaching Christian doctrine and crossing musical genres. Their campaign is part of a movement to encourage church congregations in their singing.
“In Christ Alone” was the number one most frequently-sung in UK churches for a record-setting nine consecutive years. An estimated 100 million people are singing Getty hymns in church services each year, with their unique ability to be sung in contemporary and more traditional contexts of church music.
The BBC One ‘Songs of Praise’ special show included performances of each of the much-loved hymns from across the United Kingdom, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man. The performance of In Christ Alone was set in Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast and performed by Daniel O’Donnell.
Speaking on the show, Aled Jones commented, “In Christ Alone is a wonderful modern hymn. Written in 2000, this hymn has lyrics that continue to resonate with Christians throughout our country and indeed, the world.”
Getty concludes, “We hope you can know the heights of love and depths of peace that can only be found In Christ Alone.”
Keith and Kristyn live between Northern Ireland and Nashville with their four children.
About the author: Kim Wilkinson is a media and communications professional who specialises in building community and valuable relationships.