Composer receives prestigious award
Bromsgove-based Roger Jones, composer of more than 20 Christian musicals, author and speaker, has become the recipient of this year’s Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship. The award recognises outstanding contributions to all aspects of worship in the Church, including both words and music. The 2019 Awards were presented by Archbishop Justin Welby at Lambeth Palace last month (April)
Roger, who came to faith at a Christian Endeavour group at Grenfell Baptist Church in East Birmingham and spent many of his formative years in that church, has 40 years experience working as a composer, evangelist, worship leader and speaker.
Having studied music at the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire), he went on to become Head of Music at Aston Manor School in inner-city Birmingham.
After a few years Roger felt the need to write music for his school choir that worked well in terms of age and ability, and he began with an Easter musical, ‘Jerusalem Joy’. This musical was featured on BBC Songs of Praise in the mid-1970s and has since been performed around the world. Roger continued to write musicals, and in 1984 left teaching to become full-time director of Christian Music Ministries. Some of his best-known works include ‘Saints Alive’, ‘While Shepherds Watched’ and ‘From Pharaoh to Freedom’.
The citation states that Roger’s focus has always been on writing music which is accessible by the local church, and how he has always been missional – ‘motivated by a desire to share his own, strong, personal faith in Christ, and for others to catch that vision.’
It adds that Roger 'has the rare gift of enabling others to discover their God-given identity in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and has used his musical gifts unstintingly towards this end.’
Previous award winners include Matt Redman, Stuart Townend and Tim Hughes.
Roger said, ‘I was utterly speechless when I was told of the award. It is an incredible honour. Over the years it has been a joy to write music for the ordinary folk in the pew – music they can use to share the wonderful story of Jesus with their friends and neighbours.
‘I also feel it is important to say that this award is also for the team around me; family, friends and colleagues who have been tireless in their support and love. It was a delight to be able to take my wife Mary and my son Tim, now a partner in the ministry, to London to receive the award.’