St Paul may say that the peace of God passes all understanding, but Michael Perry did not wish us to leave that as simply a blank in our minds. In series of similes he evokes five images which he hopes will enlarge our appreciation of St Paul’s prayer. One has to ask whether such utterly ‘peaceful’ images—in our sense of the word—do justice to the shalom, that actively engaged and reconciling peace which is behind St Paul’s words. Taking the words, however, as they are, Noël Tredinnick’s tune, with its rich harmonies, does express very closely the warmth and wonder in the words. (Just as many of the nineteenth-century hymn tunes are now accepted as little religious partsongs, so is this a late twentieth-century example.) Noël Tredinnick has been associated with the music of All Soul’s, Langham Place, in London, and is well known as the conductor of ‘Prom Praise’. The name of the tune commemorates the birthplace of Christianity in North Northumberland. Old Yeavering is the name of a cottage within a small settlement of the same name, where Paulinus (d 644) first baptized converts to Christianity.
from notes by Alan Luff © 1999