The BBC Hymnbook was intended for us in studio services and the Daily Service, and to allow listeners at home to follow hymns in broadcast programmes. According to the book’s Preface, Dr Iremonger, who initiated the idea, wished to compile a hymnbook in which ‘the ‘good popular’ might be preserved and the ‘bad popular’ omitted.’
An interdenominational committee selected the hymns for inclusion. They decided on 500 hymns (eventually the hymnbook was to contain 542 hymns) which were then surveyed by a panel of hymnologists and musicians.
With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1938, the compilation of the hymnbook was put on hold. Work resumed, however, in 1941 and by 1951 – fourteen years after the inception of the project – the hymnbook was published.
The featured image is the front cover of the seventh impression (1969) of the BBC Hymnbook