The Story Behind In Christ Alone
Songwriter Stuart Townend grew up as the youngest of four children in a Christian family in West Yorkshire, England, where his father was a vicar in the Church of England. The Townend family always enjoyed music, and young Stuart began to play the piano at the age of seven. Known and respected today by musicians and worship leaders throughout Britain and beyond, his involvement in Christian music dates back over 10 years.
During this time, Townend has used his talents to produce albums for British-based worship leaders as diverse as John Pantry, Keith Routledge, Sue Rinaldi, Vinesong and Praise Gathering. As an artist, he has made two solo albums: Say the Word and Personal Worship. But it is perhaps as a songwriter that Stuart has made his most enduring contribution to the contemporary worship movement. Songs such as “How Deep the Father’s Love,” “My First Love,” “The King of Love,” “Who Paints the Skies” and “Lord, How Majestic You Are” are favorites in the repertoire of thousands of churches around the world. And now one of his latest works, “In Christ Alone,” seems destined to take its place among other worship classics both in the UK and in the United States.
Written in 2002, “In Christ Alone” was a collaborative effort between Townend and fellow songwriter (and now good friend) Keith Getty. “The song came about in an unusual way,” Townend explains. “Keith and I met in the autumn of 2000 at a worship event, and we resolved to try to work together on some songs. A few weeks later Keith sent some melody ideas, and the first one on the CD was a magnificent, haunting melody that I loved, and immediately started writing down some lyrical ideas on what I felt should be a timeless theme commensurate with the melody. So the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out, and when we got together later on to fine tune it, we felt we had encapsulated what we wanted to say.”
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