The name of Sydney Nicholson is best known as the founder of The Royal School of Church Music, but he had a distinguished career as a cathedral organist at Carlisle and Manchester and then Westminster Abbey, and he was from 1913 to 1947 the musical editor at Hymns Ancient and Modern
, where he had a huge influence. His true memorial is Ancient and Modern Revised
(1950), which he had long planned but did not live to see. The tune comes from his cantata The Saviour of the World
of 1924. Its name is that of a village near Bletchley in Buckinghamshire where Nicholson had a house. As music editor he set the tune to these words by Thomas Kelly in the Shortened Edition of Hymns A & M
(1939). The theme of the hymn is ‘glorying in the Cross’ and the tune lifts us to find the hope and joy in Christ’s death.
from notes by Alan Luff © 1999