FRED KAAN (1929-2009) is a retired minister of the United Reformed Church in the UK, presently freelancing as a hymnwriter, translator and lecturer. Born and educated in Holland, he moved to England in 1952 where he served pastorates in Wales and Plymouth before becoming Secretary of the International Congregational Council in Geneva in 1968, and subsequently an executive with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. In 1978 he returned to England and served for seven years as a Provincial Moderator in the URC, concluding his ministry in an ecumenical pastorate in Swindon. He has published five collections of hymns and one of translations from Swedish hymnody. His texts have been translated into more than 15 different languages. He is credited - with Fred Pratt Green and Brian Wren - with having started the "hymn explosion" in England in the sixties and seventies. All of his hymns are represented in the United States and Canada by the Hope Publishing Company. His 1999 collection entitled THE ONLY EARTH WE KNOW (Code #8064) contains all the best of Kaan and includes any up-dates or revisions of his hymns. This is also available from Hope. In the summer of 2001 Fred was elected a "Fellow" of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, indeed a rare honor for a European. Nine of his hymntexts have been included in Hope's new hymnal WORSHIP & REJOICE (2001).
Painting of the Late Fred Kaan in his easy chair by Dr. Anthea Kaan.