Winchester choir with hymn book

A five step guide to commissioning a hymn book

So you think you might be interested in a bespoke hymn book for your school? Here are five steps to help you prepare.

Step 1

Canvass as wide a range of opinions as you can…

You’ll be surprised at how many people will want a say on what is included in your hymn book – especially the pupils. Conduct a survey, be open about what’s going in, and nobody can claim they weren’t asked.

Step 2

… but appoint a project leader who has the final say.

Acknowledge that you simply can’t please everyone and that opposing opinions will have to be reconciled by someone with a casting vote. Try to iron these out at an early stage when it’s still easy to change things about your hymn book.

Step 3

Consider what you’re using the books for…

Singing from, yes. But will they sit in the Chapel, soaking up the damp and your finances? Or does each pupil get their own hymn book – either when they join the school, or when they leave – with a barely-noticeable charge on each school bill that pays for the whole thing?

Step 4

… and how that might determine how many you order…

The more books you buy, the cheaper each one is. So if you buy several years’ worth of stock, keep the cost price low, sell them on to each pupil, then your balance sheet remains healthy. Any profit can be used as a buffer against loss and damage.

Step 5… and what you include.

If each pupil retains their own hymn book after they have left school, consider what you could include to keep that unique relationship going. A history of the school, special prayers, scripture arranged by theme, suggested hymns for baptisms, marriages and funerals.

Lastly – please don’t forget – we are here to help – by phone, or a personal visit.

For more details on hymn book costs, and how to plan your project, please call our office on 01983 761 389 or email

You can read more about our hymn books here



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