John Bell… preacher, hymn writer, composer, lecturer and broadcaster, spends much of the year travelling, mostly in the Americas and Europe. He is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and a member of the Iona Community. During his studies in Theology, he became the first (and last) student Rector of the University of Glasgow. After a period in the Netherlands and two posts in church youth work, he became employed, firstly in youth work and then in the areas of music and worship, founding during that time, with Graham Maule, the Wild Goose Worship Group and the Wild Goose Resource Group.
He is a past convenor of the Church of Scotland’s Panel on Worship and the committee that produced the ground-breaking Church Hymnary 4. In 1999, he was honoured by the Presbyterian Church of Canada and the Royal School of Church Music which bestowed a Fellowship on him. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Glasgow. In 2013, he was awarded the Community of Christ International Peace Award.
John has produced many collections of liturgy, scripts, sermons and reflections, original hymns and songs (some in collaboration with Graham) and three collections of songs of the World Church. These are published by the Iona Community’s Wild Goose Publishing arm in Scotland and by G.I.A. Publications (Chicago) in N. America. He lectures in theological colleges in Britain and U.S., but is primarily concerned with the renewal of congregational worship at grass roots level. Download the latest information about John’s Australian programme here.
John’ s visit to Australia and New Zealand in May 2019 will begin in Western Australia on 6 May and end in Springwood, NSW on 2 June with a conference on Fair Trade at which he will be a guest lecturer. In between he will visit most states in Australia as well as New Zealand and his programme will cover a wide range of activities, including conversations about diversity with Equal Voices, links between indigenous and Celtic spirituality, workshops on worship, a Quiet Day for ministers and ministry students, and public lectures.
John hails from Kilmarnock and like Johnnie Walker, the ubiquitous creator of the world-wide whisky, John shares an affection for colourfully, distinctive dressing (without the top hat, red coat, white britches and black knee-length boots).
The various sponsoring organisations are looking forward to welcoming this engaging speaker, distinguished thinker, poet, musician and theologian to our shores and hope that many will be encouraged, strengthened and stimulated through their attendances at the various activities on offer.