hymns of Elizabeth Cosnett first came to public notice when several of
her texts, with music by Ian Sharp, were among the winners of the BBC
Songs of Praise competitions in 1985 and 1988. Earlier than this,
however, her MA dissertation for Liverpool University, entitled The
Poet as Hymn Writer: A study of the hymns of George Wither, William Cowper
and Robert Bridges, had already signalled a commitment to hymnody
that has continued to the present, not only in her own creative work,
but also in her membership of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland,
of which she was Executive President.
A native of Liverpool, where she was born in 1936, Elizabeth Cosnett was educated at a local grammar school and at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Returning to her home city, she taught for some years in grammar and comprehensive schools and then lectured in English at the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education until her retirement in 1996. A keen reader and gardener, she is also an enthusiastic bell-ringer at the city centre parish church of St Nicholas, where she serves as a churchwarden.
Elizabeth Cosnett’s texts, with Ian Sharp’s tunes, have appeared in a wide selection of contemporary hymn collections and publications, including Common Praise, Irish Church Hymnal, New Start Hymns and Songs, Peculiar Honours, Reflecting Praise, Sing Glory, Sound Bytes and Story Song.
Hymns for Everyday Saints
The 36 hymns covering a variety of subjects with tunes for many of them by Ian Sharp.
ISBN 0 85249 870 5
The 36 hymns in this new anthology cover a variety of subjects, including familiar themes such as Christmas and Easter, as well as the role of women, illness and healing, wartime remembrance, and prostitution. They are illuminated by the author's preface and commentaries to each of the hymns, offering fascinating insights into hymn writing and the creative process, and issues of language and content in relation to the concerns of contemporary Christians. Ian Sharp has composed new musical settings for many of the texts.