Hymn writer teams with Christian Aid to raise funds for COVID-19 appeal
Singer and hymn writer Andrew D. Brewis is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for Christian Aid’s COVID-19 Appeal with his new single, This Is The Time To Pray. The new song, based on a poem by the late William Aubert Luce, has been written, recorded and published in just six weeks, and was released on Saturday, May 23rd on thetimetopray.com.
“If ever there was a time that the world needed prayer and healing, now is that time,” says Andrew, who composed and performs the song. “William’s poem is beautiful, simple, urgent, and inclusive. And even though it was written years ago, it’s both completely timeless and really timely. It urges us to take a good look at ourselves, and to look to God for direction.”
“When I read the poem, I knew it was a healing and unifying thought that deserved to be shared as widely as possible. And I thought it could do some added good if it raised money for a worthy cause.”
Christian Aid will receive 50% of the takings from the new single for their COVID-19 appeal. “As hard-pressed as we are here, there are many other parts of the world where this disease could be completely devastating,” says Andrew. “As Christian Aid is fond of saying, ‘Love unites us all’ and I think that’s a message that’s shared by the song. I’d love it to be shared widely: I think the message can bring us all together, and the funds raised will help those most in need.”
Jill Stone, one of Christian Aid’s UK regional managers was delighted when Andrew called to offer to raise money for their COVID-19 appeal with his song.
“We are thrilled that Andrew is raising money for us through the launch of this song. The lyrics talk about joy and hope, light and love, and we all need more of that. Our local partners are working quickly to limit the impact of coronavirus in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world, providing basic essentials like soap and water to prevent infection in places where health provision is totally inadequate.”
This Is The Time To Pray, by Andrew D. Brewis, was released at www.thetimetopray.com and Apple Music on Saturday, May 23rd, and will be released on Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify, and all the other major music outlets by Wednesday, May 27th. The video accompanying the single is also at thetimetopray.com and https://youtu.be/3CPnL1XMZDI.
About the song and its singer
Andrew has been a singer/songwriter and jazz musician for 35 years and has been writing inspirational, Christian music for 15. He’s recorded around 80 tracks on a collection of CDs, performed them in the USA and South Africa as well as at home in the UK, and eight of his hymns have been published in a hymnal used in churches all over the world. But he’s never written and recorded something as fast as this.
“We’re all going through a particularly weird time at the moment, and I find my peace through my music and writing new tunes to wonderful words,” says Andrew. “I’ve been performing weekly inspirational concerts online since the UK lockdown started, and a Facebook friend sent me this poem to see if I’d like to write a melody for it.
“The music came to me all at once, like an answered prayer. Then on April 11th, I shared what I’d written with my Saturday night audience. Their response was really positive.”
As a performing artist, Andrew’s earnings have collapsed during the lockdown, with 45 upcoming gigs cancelled. And with a young family to support, he couldn’t afford to record the song. So he turned to his loyal fans. “I launched an Indiegogo campaign and raised over 500 pounds to pay for the studio time – all carefully socially distanced, of course!”
This Is The Time To Pray was first published as a poem in 1963. As a playwright and screenwriter, William Aubert Luce wrote works for Julie Harris, Christopher Plummer, George C. Scott and Claire Bloom, among many others. His poems are less well known, but a number of them have been set to music and are sung as solos or choral pieces in churches all over the world. Sadly, Luce passed away last December, aged 88, but his godson, Grant, has been in touch with Andrew from British Columbia in Canada to give his blessing.
Andrew hopes the song will inspire people of all faiths and none to pause, reflect and pray. And then send some money to Christian Aid. “I’m not sure we’re going to manage Colonel Tom’s giddy heights,” says Andrew, “but every penny will make a difference.”
The words of the song, slightly adapted from William Luce’s original 1963 poem, are:
This is the time when the world must pray To hear the Father’s call,
This is the time to tear down each wall, And free us, one and all.
This is the time to forget the past,
And find a better way,
This is the time when heart meets heart, This is the time to pray.
This is the time to be strong and bold, To fight for what is right,
This is the time for a song of joy
To end the lonely night,
This is the time for clouds of strife To fade and melt away.
This is the time to pray.
This is the time when the streams of hope Must overflow the land,
This is the time to put all your faith
Into the Father’s hands,
This is the time to make war and hate The dreams of yesterday.
This is the time to pray.