Lisburn hymn writer Keith Getty honoured at Westminster

World-renowned hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty
World-renowned hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty

A pair of award-winning hymn writers from Northern Ireland have been honoured at an event in the Houses of Parliament.

Co Antrim couple Keith and Kristyn Getty were centre focus at an event in Westminster organised by Christians in Parliament, after Keith was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List earlier this year.

Some 200 guests attended the celebration in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft.

Keith was awarded an OBE for his services and contribution to Music and Modern Hymn Writing.

It is the first time such an award has been given to someone in contemporary church music.

The Lisburn man is known throughout the world for revolutionising and modernising the classic hymn genre.

Keith and his wife Kristyn, who is originally from Glengormley, are passionate advocates of hymn-singing in church and are about to launch a worldwide campaign over the next two years to promote congregational singing.

The Getty’s inaugural Sing! Conference will take place in Nashville on September 18-20, where 4,000 will attend from around the world. A 5,000-person hymn sing will also take place at the world-famous Grand Ole Opry House.

The conference marks the beginning of the Sing! Campaign, which will tour a number of arenas and will include a concert in Belfast in 2018.

Keith’s famous hymn ‘In Christ Alone’ was the number one most-frequently-sung hymn in UK churches for a record-setting nine consecutive years.

It was also voted number two best-loved hymn of all time in the UK in a BBC Songs of Praise survey and among the top five hymns of all time by the UK Hymns Society.

Performing with Kristyn, the couple have spent the last decade as ambassadors for the genre, re-popularising and energising the singing of hymns around the world, leading the world-wide revival of congregational singing.

Keith said: “This beautiful event in the Houses of Parliament is yet another incredible honour and recognition of our work by the Christians in Parliament group. We are really privileged to be able to perform in this beautiful and magnificent setting.”