Skip to content

‘How Great Thou Art’ picked as all-time favourite hymn that inspires hope

27 May 2020

27 May 2020

A poll carried out by the aid agency CAFOD has found the most popular hymn that inspires hope is ‘How Great Thou Art’.

With religious services halted under the coronavirus lockdown, How Great Thou Art - a Christian hymn which has been covered by artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Susan Doyle – is the hymn people found the most hopeful at this time.

It was picked as the favourite hymn, beating ‘Christ, Be Our Light’, ‘Be Not Afraid’, and ‘10,000 Reasons’ 

CAFOD’s Head of Fundraising and Participation, Jo Kitterick, said:

“Hymns inspire and express hope; whether those who enjoy them associate with a faith or not. Throughout the coronavirus lockdown we have seen so many people turning to hymns and prayer to help them through this difficult time.

“People have sorely missed attending Church over the last few months. Listening to, or singing hymns at home, helps us to continue to feel part of a community and connected to faith. We have also seen high numbers tuning in for our live-streaming of Mass and to the Sunday morning children’s liturgy sessions CAFOD has been running online.

“How Great Thou Art is a really rousing hymn, and reminds us that we can put our trust in God, because God has made such an amazing world for us all to live in and take care of.

“As the impacts of coronavirus are increasingly felt around the world in developing countries – where communities have fewer resources to deal with the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns – by singing hymns and saying prayers we can stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are also facing these challenging times and share hope.”

Notes to editors:

  • CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International. Working with communities across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America to fight poverty and injustice. The agency works with people in need, regardless of race, gender, religion or nationality.

  • 506 people voted in the twitter poll carried out by CAFOD. After an initial vote on Facebook to narrow down the list of hymns from 10 to 4, the final results were:

    • How Great Thou Art – 37.7%

    • Christ, Be Our Light – 30.2%

    • Be Not Afraid – 20%

    • 10,000 Reasons – 12.1%

  • How Great Thou Art is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg (1859-1940) in Sweden in 1885.

  • You can find a link to CAFOD’s next Children’s Liturgy Live! session, in addition to a recording of previous sessions, here:

  • Donations to CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal can be made via the website: or by telephone: +44 (0)303 303 3030

  • For media enquiries please contact: Laura Ouseley on, +44 (0)7909 875 956 or CAFOD out-of-hours media hotline: +44 (0)7919 301 429.