Hymn of the Week
GUIDE ME O THOU GREAT REDEEMER
This great Welsh hymn has been a favourite for both church congregations and UK football crowds. It was written in 1745 by William Williams, who hailed from Llandovery in Carmarthenshire. Williams trained as a doctor, but entered ordained ministry after hearing a sermon by Howell Harris, the leader of the Welsh Evangelical Revival. The imagery in the hymn is taken from the biblical story of the Israelites’ journey from Egypt, through the wilderness to the Promised Land. The tune, Cwm Rhondda, which is perhaps one of the best-known hymn tunes of all time, was composed surprisingly recently by John Hughes, in1905. Rumour has it, that Hughes wrote the music on a piece of scrap paper while sitting in the Salem Chapel on a Sunday morning.