Garth Hewitt released his first album “The Lion and the Lamb” in 1973, and his newest, “Something for the Soul” in August 2014. In between there have been close to 40 others 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 for 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.
Garth passionately believes that it is always time for people of all faiths to speak up and call for justice, reaffirming the dignity, rights and value of each human being made ‘in the image of God’. As part of this passion Garth has written nine books, including his book on the theology of justice, “Occupied Territories – the revolution of love from Bethlehem to the ends of the earth” published in September 2014, of which Garth says, “This theology of action shows the way to a revolution of love and justice, a revolution that is relevant all around the world – a revolution of non-violence, of valuing all people as equal; it’s a call to do justice and to show the values of hope and humanity in whatever situation we find ourselves.”
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.
Until recently Garth has been 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. He is now an Associate Priest at St Clement’s Eastcheap, the home of Amos Trust, also in the City of London. 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’. Garth is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought.
Garth tours regularly – the “Something for the Soul” tour has run throughout 2015 with Garth performing songs from throughout his career including the new album, and reading from the new book. Bookings for the 2016 “Strange Weapons” tour are now being taken.
In 2016, Garth has released two albums and a DVD, including Songs from the Fifth Gospel which is a pulling-together of thirty years worth of songs about or inspired by or written in the Holy Land, Peace at Christmas, a collection of Christmas songs and prayers and Wide Open Arms, a meditational/devotional DVD including questions for small group discussion or personal reflection. You can also now signup for Garth’s email newsletter.