Integrity Music announces the release of Courage, a new album from renowned modern hymn writer Stuart Townend, the pen behind some of the global church's most beloved worship songs, including "How Deep The Father's Love For Us" and "In Christ Alone."
The 12-track Courage, Townend's first album in four years, contains a host of new, scripture-based congregational songs as well as some of his most personal work to date, coming on the heels of family health issues and losing his brother, Phil, to cancer. Courageaddresses loss, pain and mental health within the context of hope in Christ and the peace and comfort found only in Him. Townend and Phil share a portion of their story and recorded the song it inspired before Phil's death late last year at "Keep You Here". Townend shares more through his blog at StuartTownend.co.uk.
Whoever keeps their life will lose it / Whoever gives their life will gain /
Not just a moment but forever / This love is stronger than the grave
"The word that has kept coming back to me is 'courage'," says Townend of his family's journey and the resulting songs. "...courage to face my own pain, to share my pain and to sit with the pain of others without judgement or offering solutions."
"The song 'Keep You Here' charts my initial response of avoiding my pain by trying to fix things, together with marveling at the way he [Phil] engaged with life in a new way in the light of his terminal condition," he adds. "The title track reflects my own smiliar struggle to move from my preoccupation of living in the past or the future, to really living in the present. And 'I Am Here For You' touches on wider mental health issues of anxiety, disassociation, loss and depression."
"My hope for this recording would be for it to at least start a conversation within the church about the deep, painful issues that often lie hidden and unspoken in the very place where we should feel safest to talk about them... my prayer is that we can all find the courage to be part of that conversation."
A labor of love and a family celebration, Courage includes Townend's daughter and sons as guest musicians and on vocals. The complete tracklist for the album, including featured vocalists, is:
- "How Shall I Sing That Majesty?"
- "May The Peoples Praise You"
- "How Good It Is To Sing (Psalm 147)"
- "Still, My Soul Be Still" - featuring Kaz Barnett
- "I Am Here For You" - featuring Emma Townend
- "We Believe (Apostles' Creed)"
- "Keep You Here" - featuring Phil Townend
- "Lead On, Lead On" - featuring Emma Townend
- "I Will Wait For You (Psalm 130)"
- "For The Cause"
- "Christ Be With Me (Prayer Of St. Patrick)"