new resource: sheet music for keep on shining

We’ve just uploaded a new resource. It’s our hope that adding the sheet music for Keep on shining – our song of blessing and intercession for the persecuted church first written for Canon Andrew White and St George’s Baghdad several years ago – will help more people learn this song and use it to pray for brothers and sisters around the world. Find it together with the audio and chord sheet on the Sanctuary’s songs page.


Here, the song-writer – Liz Baddaley – tells us a little more about how and why it was first written… this article – written in 2011, is all the more poignant following on from recent events in Iraq and the fact that Canon Andrew White is currently not able to minister alongside his congregation there:

‘The Rev Canon Andrew White came to visit a few years ago and I was more than annoyed that I couldn’t be there when he spoke at my then church, St Pauls, during the morning service – I was preaching in North Hertfordshire for Christian Aid Week.

‘I was determined to hear him speak, so I squeezed in another church’s afternoon service where he was visiting in between lunch and setting up to lead worship for my church’s evening service…

‘It was worth it. He is truly a remarkable man and I was so struck by his work, perseverance, love for his congregation and his attitude. One phrase he used particularly stuck with me, he said ‘don’t take care, take risks’ – he is the kind of person who has the right to say that.

‘I had to leave before the end of the talk – and crucially before the questions, of which I had a couple, and I was really miffed to be honest. My church was only a short walk from the one he was speaking at, and as I walked up the Hatfield Road I found myself feeling disappointed and disgruntled that I couldn’t stick around for more of his much-needed inspiration. I also felt strangely stirred up.

‘As I turned the key in my church’s door, and stepped into the empty building, I found myself singing out the first verse and chorus of this song – and after the evening service I went home, finished it, and sent it to him as soon as I could record it – though I was very embarrassed to do so. The timing lined up so that it arrived with him on a morning where he had been praying much of the night. I was blown away how God used this whole incident.

‘This song is my prayer for Andrew White, his congregation, and the wider, persecuted church. (It can have its pronouns changed to be sung congregationally, or can be sung in the first person, and is simple for people to pick up. It also works well played in the background with images of Iraq, or other relevant countries with prayer points for persecuted Christians.)

‘It is easy for us to forget in the UK that being a Christian doesn’t generally mean a comfortable life. Many Christians are persecuted for their faith. We have much to learn from their lives. And much we should be doing to support them – through prayer, through campaigning, and through giving. They are our family.

‘In either an individual or corporate context, it’s easy to forget how big the church is – how many people are interceding or praising God at any one time – we can become very focused on our own, narrow context, or on the prominent movements within our church culture. But we are part of a continuous offering of worship offered around the world and through the ages – it’s important we remember this, and stand with our brothers and sisters in a more corporate way.’

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