'In Christ Alone' writer awarded 'Freedom of the City' honour
Esteemed hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty have been given the Freedom of the Borough of Lisburn and Castlereagh this week.
Kristyn Getty, together with her husband Keith - best known for writing 'In Christ Alone' - which is reportedly sung by over 40 million people each year, received the news at a meeting of council on Tuesday evening.
Freedom of the City is an hour bestowed by the local council to recognise the impact a person or persons have had on a city.
The northern Irish duo have toured the world performing their worship songs, which feature in many modern day hymn books, including ones used at the Royal Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Keith Getty, who was awarded an OBE for his contribution to Christian music in 2017, grew up in Lisburn and attributes his talent and dedication to Christian music to his formative years growing up in Northern Ireland supported by family, friends and the congregation of Elmwood Presbyterian Church.
Keith and Kristyn also founded "New Irish Arts" back in 1994, encouraging people from across Ireland to engage in church music, of which Getty is still honorary president today.
Keith Getty, OBE shared his delight at the news: "Kristyn and I are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Lisburn and Castlereagh. It is incredibly humbling to be recognised by our home town in this way.
"So much of our music was born in Lisburn, from deepest influences and education, to all the earliest songs and performances. Although we now reside in the USA, we still feel a deep connection with Lisburn and Northern Ireland. We are truly grateful."
The Council will grant the Freedom of the City of Lisburn and Castlereagh on the Getty's at a ceremony in Lisburn City later this year.
Speaking about the forthcoming event The Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Alan Givan said: "This will be a great honour for both the council and the individuals involved. It is very important that, as the local authority, we publicly acknowledge the significant achievements of our residents who have a lifetime of public service both locally and globally."
Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.