From The Electrics To Sweet Sorrows

What a pleasure to host my friends Sammy and Kylie Horner and their USA friends Beky and Randy as they paused on the Border between gigs in Scotland and England. I have met up with Sammy and Kylie in Australia, Canada and UK and hope to visit their new home in Ireland.

I first met Sammy in the heyday of his band The Electrics. My first book, Exploring Celtic Spirituality: historic roots for our future inspired him to research and celebrate his Irish roots. I gained his permission to include his song on the Trinity in The Celtic Hymnbook: ‘Three seams in this garment, one garment I wear; three leaves in the shamrock from the soil that I tear; three joints in my finger but one finger there; blest Father, Son, Spirit yet one God I serve’.

Now, he and his Australian wife Kylie perform as The Sweet Sorrows in several continents. But their delight is to serve the poor in places such as Thailand. I asked him what is his dream. His dream is to develop a ministry that combines their musical talent with their values. This might be entitled ‘Worship Like a Celt’. He feels that many popular Christian worship songs fail to connect with the culture of people who are least mobile, articulate or indigenous. He wants to befriend and listen to indigenous people, whether they be Aboriginal First Nation people in Australia, forgotten, impoverished villagers in Thailand or jobless people in USA and Europe who feel left behind by globalisation.

To worship like a Celtic is certainly to be passionate and musical, but above all it is to be indigenous rather than to import a colonial or paternalistic mentality in Christian garb. So his music will reflect indigenous words and ways to a gig-going western public. Income from this will fund their ministry to poor Thai villagers and others. That is a big act of faith. You can find them on

I hosted them overnight with the help of a pull-out bed and a blow-up matress in my office. In return they hosted a late celebration of my birthday with Celtic/Americana/Folk. A few friends joined us, and my new Irish neighbour, Liam, who only began guitar lessons two years ago, played his heart out with them. That’s ‘worship like a Celt’.

Posted at 00:41am on 26th March 2017
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