Garth Hewitt released his first album The Lion and the Lamb in 1973, and his latest, Easter Revolution, in 2022.
His previous album, My Name Is Palestine, was accompanied a 12″ single of the same name, the song My Name Is Palestine having been inspired by a painting of Suleiman Mansour, the Palestinian artist, which Garth saw while visiting Banksy’s ‘Walled Off Hotel’ in Bethlehem. The single My Name Is Palestine made quite a stir on youtube and other social media and news outlets – you can see it here.
Against the Grain, 2018, is a companion to Garth’s memoir/autobiography published in March 2018. You can read more about Garth’s memoir Against the Grain – Choices on a Journey with Justice, here. Revd Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James’s Piccadilly and previous Chair of Trustees of Amos Trust, says of it:
Garth Hewitt writes redemption songs and then sings them without fear. His voice comes through clearly in these pages, challenging us by his witness to act for justice. His is a brave voice, needed more than ever in a fearful world and in a sometimes timid church. Please God, it will help us sing redemption songs of our own.
In 2016 Garth brought out two albums and a DVD – Songs from the Fifth Gospel, songs written about or inspired by the Holy Land; the Christmas album Peace at Christmas; and a meditational DVD called Wide Open Arms. Since his first album there have been more than 40 other titles covering a wide variety of subjects and styles, including two for children and one in Spanish(!), Moonrise in 2010 to celebrate 25 years of Amos Trust, Justice Like a River, an album of worship songs on justice, and Liberty is Near!, a recording of Chartist hymns from the 1840s which Garth put to music.
Touring throughout those 40 years Garth has visited areas of poverty, conflict, deprivation, and disaster, prioritizing friendships with local people and bringing them encouragement, but always returning to Europe and the US with personal stories bringing to life media headlines, keeping individual’s stories at the forefront when newspapers have forgotten, and challenging the privileged to share, and to join the protest against injustice.
Founding the human rights charity Amos Trust in 1985, Garth worked for 26 years as its Director, then handing that role on to Chris Rose; Garth maintained a role with Amos as Founder for a few more years and then “retired” from Amos at the end of 2020 to focus more on writing and recording.
First and foremost a “troubadour”, Garth has performed in such diverse venues as Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee, rural village Gomathimuthupuram in Tamil Nadu, India, and Changi Prison in Singapore. He has been joined on his records by a wide variety of artists: Bryn Haworth, B J Cole, Jessy Dixon, Sir Cliff Richard, Martyn Joseph, Randy Stonehill, Ben Okafor, Reem Kelani, Penny Cave, Mark Heard, Paul Field, Paul Pilot, Duke Special, Denise Ogbeide and many more including his own daughter Abi and daughter in law Eils Hewitt.
For 25 years Garth was one of the Directors/Board Members of the Greenbelt Festival. He played at the first festival and was then a key member of the board that shaped its thinking and direction. It was particularly through Garth’s influence that it became an Arts Festival with a commitment to social justice.
For several years Garth was the Guild Vicar of All Hallows on the Wall in the City of London – a centre for organisations involved in issues of justice and art. When Amos Trust moved to St Clement’s Eastcheap, also in the City of London, Garth held the role of Associate Priest until he retired from Amos. Garth is also an honorary Canon of St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem. In 2006 he was given special creditation by the House of Poets in Ramallah, West Bank for his ‘positive attitude towards the Palestinian people and their struggle towards freedom and justice’. He is a Patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and in 2007 Garth was given an award by the British relief and development agency Interpal for his ‘longstanding commitment to the Palestinian people through both the relief and awareness work done by his charity, the Amos Trust, and also for his personal commitment through songs and telling the stories of ordinary Palestinians and their daily struggles’. For many years Garth was a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought.
Since 2014 Garth has been producing a nearly-monthly email newsletter which has proved very popular, with articles ranging from music to theology – occasionally glancing towards politics – always with an emphasis on prayers and poetry. You can sign up to receive the newsletter here or at the top of this page.
The Wikipedia article on Garth can be found here