Keith Getty, the author of Christian hymns including ‘In Christ Alone’, says he is surprised and delighted to have been awarded an OBE for services to music.
Getty, from County Antrim, was given the award in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Alongside his wife, Kristyn, and fellow songwriter Stuart Townend, Keith has written many popular modern hymns, including ‘Come People of the Risen King’ and ‘Hear the Call of the Kingdom’.
Keith said: “When I first received the call, I was pretty surprised.
“It is an honour for us as a family and also for the great hymn-writing heritage we have here in the UK of which we are a tiny part.
“I am very grateful to Her Majesty the Queen for this honour.”
Asked whether it was strange to receive a personal award for worship songs, he said: “I think of it as an encouragement. It’s like anyone giving you thanks.”
And he added that the OBE was as much about the “brilliance” of others he worked with as it was about him.
“There are many other people who deserve it more than we do, but I’m very grateful”, he said.
‘In Christ Alone’ is estimated to be sung by 40 to 50 million people in church services each year.