Composed by the Revd. John Newton in the weeks leading up to his New Year’s Day service at the church on 1st January 1773, the hymn “Amazing Grace” has gone on to inspire countless people and become famous around the world. We will be marking the 250th anniversary of the hymn with a programme of events and special services between July 2022 and July 2023.

10.30am to 5.00pm Saturday 16th July 2022 – Amazing Grace: Legacies at 250


A full-day conference in association with the Open University and Cowper & Newton Museum, including:

  • Keynote speakers Dr Bruce Hindmarsh (Professor of Spiritual Theology; Professor of the History of Christianity, Regent College, Vancouver) and Dr Antony Reddie (Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture)
  • Q&A Round table to be chaired by Rev Jonathan Aitken, author, broadcaster, columnist, lecturer and campaigner for prison reform
  • Piano Recital by Alexander Douglas: ‘A Sacred Journey: From the Olney Hymns to the Antebellum South’
  • Exhibition stalls & books to buy

This is the second day of a two-day conference, with the first day taking place at the Open University. The Saturday event is open to all and tickets are free (donations welcome). Places are limited, so please book your tickets in advance.


7:30pm Sunday 17th July 2022 – Amazing Grace 250 Concert


The conference day will be followed by an opening concert for our year of celebration. The concert will be held at the church and will feature:

  • Olney Brass, conducted by Philip Devine. Olney Brass have recently been announced as finalists in this year’s National Brass Band Championships
  • the Sweet Sound Gospel Choir conducted by Craig McLeish. The concert will be the first opportunity to hear this new 40-strong Gospel choir formed especially for the Amazing Grace anniversary year
  • a combined choir from the four churches of Olney – the Parish church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Sutcliff Baptist Church, Cowper Memorial United Reformed Church and Our Lady Help of Christians & St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church
  • members of Northampton Ladies’ Chamber Choir, conducted by former professional opera singer Catriona German

It promises to be a very special night – and of course it will finish with Amazing Grace!

Doors open at 7:00pm

Tickets are £15 each, and include a glass of wine or a soft drink – contact the church office to book your tickets



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