Garth Hewitt, troubadour, gospel singer, protest singer, activist and priest released his first album in 1973, and his most recent, Against the Grain, in 2018.
With more than 40 albums in between, Garth’s rootsy storytelling songs are influenced by country, folk and blues, and in 1988 Garth received the International Artist Award from the Gospel Music Association in Nashville, Tennessee.
Touring for more than 40 years Garth has visited areas of poverty, conflict, deprivation and disaster, prioritising friendships with local people, bringing them encouragement and learning from them. Then always returning to Europe and the US with personal stories that bring to life media headlines, keeping individuals’ stories at the forefront when newspapers have forgotten, and challenging us all to both share, and to join the protest against injustice.
Founding human rights charity Amos Trust in 1985, Garth worked for 26 years as its director, and currently maintains a role as founder. With the establishment of The Garth Hewitt Foundation, he now also works in collaboration with GingerDog Records to continue writing, and making his resources available. Garth’s latest album Against the Grain is a musical companion to his autobiography Against the Grain, a memoir which is described as “A must read for all who love justice” – Dr Swee Ang.
Garth has written 10 previous books including several of meditations and prayers and Occupied Territories, Garth’s and Amos Trust’s theology of justice, subtitled The Revolution of Love from Bethlehem to the Ends of the Earth.
Garth was guild vicar of All Hallows on the Wall in the City of London for 15 years where Amos Trust was based. He is now associate priest of St Clement’s, Eastcheap, also in the City of London – which is the new centre for Amos Trust under its director the Rev Chris Rose. Garth is also an honorary canon of St George’s Episcopal Cathedral, Jerusalem.
In 2006 he was given special accreditation 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 also a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. For eight years Garth was on the board of Umthombo Street Children project in Durban, South Africa.
Garth passionately believes that it is always time for people of all faiths, or none, to speak up and call for justice, reaffirming the dignity, rights and value of each human being made “in the image of God”.
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, and others, that it became an arts festival with a commitment to social justice.
Martin Smith from Delirious? recently spoke warmly of the influence of Garth and his music: “I remember being at Greenbelt Festival when I was a kid and seeing Garth Hewitt on stage. He was banging on about Christians having a heart for the poor and saving the world and frankly I didn’t get any of it. Garth has always been ahead of his time and we are all catching up with what God has been saying through Garth for the last 30 years. I wish I had listened closer standing in that field, but it sometimes takes a lifetime to recognise a true prophet. It is people like Garth who make us look at the world differently and realise what it is to be a true Christian.”
Photo Credit: Brooks de Wetter-Smith