If you are duplicating or projecting to a screen the words of a hymn, and the copyright owner of the original work has not been dead for over 70 years, then you need to be covered by a licence.

CTE holds two copyright licences for use at in-person meetings run by CTE – CCLI and ONE LICENSE. Neither cover broadcasting (eg Zoom) or recording.

See also below our information about image copyright, with a warning to be very, very careful.

Using CTE’s licences

Please remember:

  • To use our licence for content being shared at in-person meetings run by CTE, you need to be authorised
  • Please contact CTE’s Lorraine Shannon for the copyright numbers to use
  • Please see the guidance below for how to add these numbers to your PowerPoint or worship leaflet
  • Please also send Lorraine a copy of what you have produced for our records.

Copyright wording for hymns

The following guidelines should help to enable you to find the correct copyright wording for hymns.


CCLI has a hymn search available on their website here so that you can see what is the status of your hymn.

For example:

  • if you search for Amazing Grace, there are various options, but it confirms that the words by John Newton are in the public domain.
  • if you search for Servant King, Graham Kendrick’s name pops to the top of the results, and if you click the song title, you can be reassured that the words are the ones you want and this means that the song is covered by our CCLI licence.

Once you are happy that your hymn is covered by CCLI, you will need to put the following information at the end of your words: [Author] © [Year, Owner] reproduced under CCL Licence no. [INSERT CTE LICENCE NUMBER – see note above to contact Lorraine for this].

For example: Fred Bloggs © 1970 Happy Music reproduced under CCL Licence no.xxxxxx.


ONE LICENSE has a hymn search available on their website here. We have a print licence only which is normally for events up to 100 people.

Once you are happy that your hymn is covered by our ONE LICENSE, you will need to put the following information at the end of your words: © [Year] [Owner] Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. ONE LICENSE # [INSERT CTE LICENCE NUMBER – see note above to contact Lorraine for this]

For example: © 2003, ABC Music Co., Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.  ONE LICENSE #xxxxxxx.

Please note, if your hymn is neither in the public domain nor covered by one of our two licences, please either use your own licence or find another hymn (quite apart from the cost, we are very sorry but we don’t have the staff time required to chase up elusive copyright permission.)

Warning: photo and image copyright compliance

We would like to alert anyone using photographs or images, especially on a website, of the need to obtain copyright permission before use. Scroll to the bottom of this page for useful websites with copyright free images.

Getty Images

One of the largest photo and image agencies in the world, Getty Images, now has software that can automatically detect the use of unauthorised images on any website. They are acting to protect the rights of the photographers and artists involved. If the image or photo used is not covered by a copyright license, it is possible that you will be faced with an invoice for hundreds of pounds per picture. Search the internet for ‘licence compliance Getty Images’ for more information.

At CTE we have collated experience of this and discussed the invoicing with Getty Images, License Compliance Department, 101 Bayham Street, London NW1 0AG (0800 2799258)

Inevitably there are scams around, but Getty Images have software which can detect and contact anyone managing a website which contains their unauthorised images. Letters may be addressed to ‘Legal Department’ even if the recipient is a church or charity. Alternatively, you may receive an e-mail directing you to their online payment system.

We have discussed this warning with Getty Images, and we include their details with their permission so that you are assured this is an authentic issue and an important message. Getty Images also points us to Stock Photo Rights.

We believe that churches need to be as copyright-aware in their use of pictures as they are in their use of music

The CTE website does not include any images with an unknown source. We strongly others to do the same.

A major copyright distribution mechanism that covers social photo sharing is Creative Commons. This includes photographs which may be used free with a simple protocol: Photo-sharing sites like Flickr use the ‘Creative Commons’ mechanism and make it clear on each photograph what is its copyright status.

Always be careful to check the license or copyright arrangement for each photograph you may wish to use and ensure that your colleagues are equally diligent.

Some sources of copyright-free photographs are below (as noted above, do check the terms and conditions for each individual image on these sites):