23 July 2024

Poet Godfrey completes ‘longest hymn’ feat

by Rebecca Hannant

A Withernsea poet has recited the “world’s longest hymn” at an event at the town’s St Nicholas Church in support of the war memorial clock fundraising appeal.

On Saturday, July 6, Godfrey Holmes performed his own composition which totalled more than 400 verses and 400 choruses.

Godfrey said he came up with the idea for the hymn when he lived in Chesterfield.

He performed the hymn with ease on Saturday despite initial reservations.

Godfrey said: “I suppose I was anxious – would my voice be strong enough for long enough?

“But I need not have worried: no cold, no flu, no frog in the throat, no whispers.

“Then I thought, would I flag halfway or three-quarters of the way through the recitation? Again, I need not have worried. In rehearsal, I’d taken three hours and 10 minutes, but in reality, I did it just eight minutes short of three hours.

“I could not possibly have done this mammoth recitation without the assistance of all the Friends of St Nicholas Church. Particularly, Darrin Stevens, who was there to support the project, every minute of it, and to do all the catering, and to do all the brilliant photography.”