New year’s day 2021, people across the world are being encouraged to join in singing amazing grace to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the day its words were first delivered by reverend john newton. newton, a former slave ship captain, was the key figure in this event. he authored the words to the hymn as part of his sermon faith’s review and expectation, which was delivered in 1771.
Event took place in the buckinghamshire market town of olney, where newton had been appointed as a curate in 1764. he collaborated with poet william cowper to publish the olney hymns in 1779, which included the words to amazing grace.
Hymn was written after newton experienced a spiritual transformation in 1748, when he was caught in a severe storm near the brazilian coast. this experience inspired him to write the words to amazing grace, which he later included in his sermon as a way of expressing his newfound faith and hope. he hoped his words would bring comfort and peace to those who heard them, and his message has since become a symbol of hope and resilience for many people around the world.