2 priests combine their talents to produce new album

A large crowd attended a concert at St Peter and Paul’s Lower Hutt last Friday.

The concert took place to launch Angel of the Forest, a new album by well known singer, Fr Chris Skinner.

A special feature of the concert was the performance of five songs with lyrics by another well known priest Fr James Lyons.

The album also contains Song for you co-written with John Matteson and four songs with both lyrics and music by Chris.

The title refers to the Kotuku (white heron).

One of the unique features of the concert was that both artists had time to explain how the words and music came about.

Mother of Mercy carried a message about how sorrow and pain might be met by compassion and mercy.

Lyons explained that the phrase thieves of innocence compelled him as he wrote it.

“‘You hold seeds for the planting in the soil of our sorrow’ was a line that spoke gently and powerfully to me, said Margaret Riordan, who was at the concert.

Another song Into my Life had lyrics by Lyons that spoke of thankfulness for precious friendships in our lives.

“As Fr Chris wove the beautiful melody with his voice, I was grateful for all those who came to my mind,” said  Riordan.

“One of my favourite songs had an ecological theme – Kotuku”.

“I especially loved the way the words of the Maori proverb, ‘He Kotuku rerenga tahi’ just flowed from Chris’s voice into the air – as if the majestic kotuku was taking flight,” she said.

The last song from the album was Mum and Dad which  Chris wrote after looking at his parents’ wedding photograph.

It was a gentle reflection on love, hope, dreams and memories.

The concert concluded with few audience requests.

‘Sons of Gallipoli’ was sung with gusto by all, and was clearly a song that has been adopted with enthusiasm by the parish.

Chris says the album contains some very moving songs and some lively upbeat compositions.

“This is truly something quite different given the collaboration that has taken place and the arrangements have a real celtic flavour,” he says.


  • Supplied Margaret Riordan
  • Image Supplied
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