Amazing Grace 250: The Finale

The final event for Amazing Grace 250 was held at the parish church of St Peter & St Paul, Olney on Wednesday 13th December 2023.  AG250 partners, supporters, participants and community came together to share memories of some of the events and activities which took place over the 18 month programme and project.  The evening included:

The documentary film, Amazing Grace: Legacies at 250, commissioned by Milton Keynes City Council

Professor James Walvin, author of Amazing Grace: A Cultural History of the Beloved Hymn

Readings by Dr Rommi Smith from the new music commission, Forever?

MK Youth Cabinet response to Amazing Grace 250

MK Sweet Sound choir

Tom Jones, Chair of Trustees Cowper & Newton Museum
Professor James Walvin
Fiona Boundy, Creative and Cultural Manager, MK CIty Council
Cllr Robin Bradburn, Deputy Leader and Portfolio holder for Economy and Culture, MKCC
Amanda Molcher, Trustee Cowper & Newton Museum

The evening premiered a short documentary commissioned by Milton Keynes City Council about how the hymn came to be written in the town of Olney, its growth in popularity and events co-created with partners. Also included are excerpts from Forever?, a new piece written for voice and musical ensemble which explores what Amazing Grace means to people today.

Dr Rommi Smith, poet and writer, performed 3 of the songs from Forever?.

All 10 poems can be read below in the programme from the premiere held at the Stables and part of IF:International Festival on 22nd July 2023.

 

Cody Jackson

Young people from Milton Keynes Youth Council (MKYC) performed their own poems which they developed with poet Rommi Smith from themes evolved from the Youth Conference earlier in the year.

Ellie Starkey

The evening ended with MK Sweet Sound choir singing:

Song 4: Amazing  from Forever? (2023)
Roderick Williams (b.1965) with text written by Rommi Smith (b.1973)

Blinded by Your Grace Pt 2
Stormzy (b.1993)

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

John Newton (b. 1725) and Chris Tomlin (b.1972)

Musical Director, Craig McLeish also lead everyone in attendance in singing the well known first verse:

Amazing grace!  (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

To find out more about the hymn as written by the Rev’d John Newton, visit Amazing Grace I Cowper & Newton Museum

MK Sweet Sound choir, MD Craig McLeish

With Thanks to:

AG250 Steering Partners

Cowper & Newton Museum
Open University
Parish church of St Peter & St Paul
Friends of the Caribbean-MK
The Stables
African Diaspora Foundation-MK
African and Caribbean Arts & Heritage Union-MK
Sierra Leone Community-MK
Arts & Heritage Alliance-MK
Olney Town Council
MK City Council

MK community foundation

All Images by Chris Henley

Image: Rommi Smith and Youth Council in rehearsal by David Purvis

Venue: Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul, Olney

Event Organiser: Milton Keynes City Council & Cowper & Newton Museum

Event Sponsor: Milton Keynes City Council, Milton Keynes Community Foundation, Cowper & Newton Museum

You might also be interested in...

John Newton Dissenting Minister

In 1893, the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society published an article in ‘Records of Buckinghamshire’ which contained an image of a page from ‘The Monthly Review.’ It was of interest to the Society because on the page William Cowper had ‘marked his disapprobation’ to a critic’s comment in six lines of poetry.

Read More »

Bobbins and Lacemaking

Here we focus on a nineteenth-century lace bobbin. Or at least, we’ll start with one bobbin and then look at a few others. This will allow us to peep at the varied work – sometimes fancy, sometimes very basic – coaxed into being by the requirements of this simple lacemaking

Read More »

At The Museum

Amazing Grace 250: The Finale

The final event for Amazing Grace 250 was held at the parish church of St Peter & St Paul, Olney on Wednesday 13th December 2023.  AG250 partners, supporters, participants and community came together to share memories of some of the events and activities which took place over the 18 month programme and project.  The evening

Read More »

Amazing Grace 250: An Amazing Year

As Amazing Grace 250 comes to a close, we look back on what has been an Amazing Year! 1st January 2023 at the MK Rose, Campbell Park African & Caribbean Arts & Heritage Union Forever?: Roderick Williams, Chineke! Rommi Smith Amazing Grace 250 – how it all began Trustees of the Cowper & Newton Museum

Read More »

Amazing Grace & John Newton Pop-Up Exhibition

Thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a new pop-up exhibition has been touring venues. The exhibition includes information that covers the history of the hymn, how it came to be written in the town of Olney and the tune to which the hymn is most sung today, There is also a timeline

Read More »

Related Articles

Amazing Grace 250: The Finale

The final event for Amazing Grace 250 was held at the parish church of St Peter & St Paul, Olney on Wednesday 13th December 2023.  AG250 partners, supporters, participants and community came together to share memories of some of the events and activities which took place over the 18 month programme and project.  The evening

Read More »

Amazing Grace 250: An Amazing Year

As Amazing Grace 250 comes to a close, we look back on what has been an Amazing Year! 1st January 2023 at the MK Rose, Campbell Park African & Caribbean Arts & Heritage Union Forever?: Roderick Williams, Chineke! Rommi Smith Amazing Grace 250 – how it all began Trustees of the Cowper & Newton Museum

Read More »

Amazing Grace & John Newton Pop-Up Exhibition

Thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a new pop-up exhibition has been touring venues. The exhibition includes information that covers the history of the hymn, how it came to be written in the town of Olney and the tune to which the hymn is most sung today, There is also a timeline

Read More »
Item added to cart.
0 items - £0.00

Book Museum Tickets

Our Museum building remains CLOSED.  We are opening our gardens on limited entry.  The Cowper & Newton Museum gardens will be open to welcome you on Wednesday 5th August 10.30 – 12.15 and Saturday 8th August 10.30 – 12.15

(Follow our social media accounts or check back here for further opening days & times as they become available)