Amazing Grace: Legacies & Reflections at 250 Open Day at St Peter & St Paul

Page from the first edition of the Olney Hymns hymn book showing the first verse of Faith's Review and Expectation now known by its first line as Amazing GraceThe Amazing Grace: Legacies & Reflections at 250 Open Day is co-hosted by The Open University’s Music Department, the Cowper & Newton Museum and St Peter & St Paul, Olney as part of a year-long programme of events to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the writing of the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’.  Written by the Rev John Newton to accompany his sermon for his 1773 New Year’s Day service in Olney, it is now known and sung worldwide.

Come along to hear the experts and ask those questions about Amazing Grace that you have always wanted to ask …

Tickets are free but limited in number. We ask that you let us know if you find you are unable to attend so others may have the opportunity to do so.  Any donations will be used to help cover additional costs incurred by the Church and for the Museum to digitise fragile John Newton documents in order to make them more accessible to researchers.

Book your tickets on the Museum’s booking site:  Link here ⇒  Amazing Grace Conference at St Peter & Paul, Olney

This event has been made possible by the generosity of The Open University’s School of Arts & Humanities, the Cowper & Newton Museum, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Pratt Green Trust, and St Peter & St Paul, Olney.


10.00-10.45        Registration/Tea and coffee, time to explore the Church

10.45-12.00        Keynote Lecture: Professor D. Bruce Hindmarsh, ‘Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Grace in the Life of John Newton, Then and Now’

12.00-14.00        Lunch

14.00-15.15        Keynote Lecture 2: Professor Anthony G. Reddie, ‘Amazing Grace and Cheap Grace: Learning from The Cross and the Lynching Tree’

15.15-15.45        Tea and coffee

15.45-17.00        Roundtable panel Q&A: Chair: Dr Martin Clarke and including The Rt Rev’d Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Rev’d Dr Janet Wootton, Professor Simon Lee

17.00-17.30        Lecture-recital: Alexander Douglas (piano), ‘A Sacred Journey: From the Olney Hymns to the Antebellum South’

And YOU – Have those John Newton and Amazing Grace questions ready to ask the experts!

Stalls from the Cowper & Newton Museum and John Newton Project, including pop up shops


Venue: St Peter & St Paul, Olney   Find out more about the venue on their website.


More about the conference delegates:

Dr Martin Clarke  Head of Discipline (Music), Open University

Prof D. Bruce Hindmarsh, author of John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce.  Prof Hindmarsh made extensive use of the Cowper & Newton Museum collection during his research

Prof Anthony G. Reddie, author of Is God Colour-Blind? Insights from Black Theology for Christian Faith and Ministry

The Rt Rev’d Rose Hudson-Wilkin Bishop of Dover and the Bishop in Canterbury

Rev’d Dr Janet Wootton, Executive President of The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Professor Simon Lee Professor of Law, Open University, Chair of the William Temple Foundation, & Olney resident

Alexander Douglas  (MA MMus MA PGCert FRSA) a self-confessed ‘humanities geek in the body of a musician’. Music, Theology and Mental Health

Lunch:  Space is available in the Church and in the marquee within the Garden of the Cowper & Newton Museum for you to eat your own packed lunch. Use this ticket to gain entrance to the Museum gardens between 12.00 – 2.00 on the 16th July 2022 (subject to available space). There are also several cafes in Olney itself as well as a Bakery and supermarkets where sandwiches are available to purchase. Prebooking and pre-ordering is available at some cafes.  Emberton Country Park is also close by.


Parking: Parking is free in Olney but there are time restrictions in some places.  Check on the Olney Town Council website for more information about the locations for free all day parking

Find out more about the town of Olney in the Olney Town Guide


Find out More About ‘Amazing Grace’

Find out more about other Amazing Grace 250 events on the Museum website

Find out more about the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ on the Museum website

Contact the Cowper & Newton Museum if you would like to organise a group visit to the Museum on the day – special openings at 9.00 am and 5.45pm can be arranged.


Jul 16, 2022


10:00 am - 5:30 pm

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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)