‘Jerusalem’ has been named the nation’s favourite hymn

30 September 2019, 16:46 | Updated: 1 July 2022, 17:18

'Jerusalem' was sung at Westminster Abbey for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
'Jerusalem' was sung at Westminster Abbey for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Picture: Getty

By Sian Moore

‘Jerusalem’ has been voted the nation’s favourite hymn, ahead of ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘In Christ Alone’.

Britain’s favourite hymn has been revealed ­– and it’s ‘Jerusalem’ that takes the top spot.

The hymn beat other favourites, including ‘How Great Thou Art’, ‘In Christ Alone’ and ‘Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind’ to the number one position, following a vote by tens of thousands of members of the public.

When the survey was last conducted in 2013, the hymn didn’t even make the top 10.

The Royal Wedding - Jerusalem (HD) (29 April 2011)

‘Jerusalem’ was originally a poem penned by William Blake, before music was later added by composer Sir Hubert Parry in 1916, at the height of World War One.

Its rise in popularity could be attributed to the news headlines the hymn made in 2016, when MPs debated whether England should adopt its own national anthem – but the proposals did not pass into law.

Singer and Classic FM presenter, Aled Jones, revealed the top 10 British hymns in a special episode of Songs of Praise on Sunday 29 September.

Here is the full list of the UK’s top hymns:

1. Jerusalem
2. How Great Thou Art
3. In Christ Alone
4. Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind
5. Abide With Me
6. I Vow To Thee My Country
7. Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah/Redeemer
8. Amazing Grace
9. Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord
10. I‚ The Lord Of Sea And Sky (Here I Am Lord)

What are the lyrics to ‘Jerusalem’?

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy lamb of god
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear: o clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariots of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight;
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.