Bishop Street Methodist Church

Art at the Chapel Explorations into Art and Spirituality

Meaningful Words

Patsy_for_Web

 

web text by wendy trial

 

 

 

 

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Patsy’s Hymn

 

 In the Bleak Midwinter

Christina Rossetti 1872  1830-1894

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In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,

earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;

snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,

in the bleak midwinter, long ago

 

Patsy_for_Web

This song is significant to me with fond memories of my late Mother Alma. When my mother came to England in the 60’s she arrived and noticed white flakes coming down from the sky, this was her first experience of winter and snow flakes. When my mother was laid to rest at the cemetery it started to snow and that is why this song is special to me.

 

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Alison’s Hymn

 

Be Thou my vision

Translated from traditional Irish text by Eleanor Hull, 1912

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Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;

Thou my best thought, by day or by night;

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

 

Alison_for_web_2

The hymn expresses for me, in a very direct and poetic way, the desire for every part of my life and actions to be inspired by and under the protection of God. It is a very old hymn from Ireland’s Celtic Christianity period in the eighth century and has glimpses of the life and culture of the people of that time. The tune we sing it to is a variation of a beautiful folk melody which I love as well.

 

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Robin’s Hymn

 

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Thomas Chisholm, 1866–1960

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Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

 

Robin_for_web_1

This is one of the hymns that I find myself singing when out walking, with its appeal to the witness of all nature to the love of God. The phrase itself is both affirming and optimistic about what God does for us, and how we can respond.

 

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Michelle’s Hymn

 

Be Thou my Vision

Dallán Forgaill,  sixth century Irish poet

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High King of heaven, my victory won,

May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

 

Michelle_for_Web_1

 

This hymn is a personal prayer that speaks right from the heart to God. It calms my soul in a prayerful manner, always speaking silently about the things I may not find words for. It is a constant reminder of who I have as my guide and shield, and the fact that I am never alone. With him I am safe no matter the circumstances I may find myself in.

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Dee’s Hymn

 

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Charles Wesley, 1747

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Changed from glory into glory,

Till in Heav’n we take our place,

Till we cast our crowns before Thee,

Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

 

Dee_for_web_2

Growing up in a Methodist household part of the attraction of this hymn was the amazing sound of four part harmony when sung to Blaenwern, both with an organ in Church, but also when gathered round a piano with friends and relations to sign hymns. At that time the tune Blaenwern, was not in the (1933) hymn book so we guarded our own copies carefully. Mine was stuck onto cardboard with sellotape. David and I chose it for our wedding in 1967 and each of our three sons also chose it for theirs. Now that two of them are divorced it brings sadness as well as joy each time we sing it.

 

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Roy’s Hymn

This, this is the God we Adore

Joseph Hart, 1712-1768

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’Tis Jesus the First and the Last,

Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home,

We’ll praise Him for all that is past,

And trust Him for all that’s to come.

 

Roy_for_Web_1

I chose it because it is a hymn that sums up the whole faith and how I feel about things. It has been special to me for a long while as it reminds us that we can always rely on God in every situation.

 

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Fran’s Hymn

Let us build a house  (All are welcome)  

by Marty Haugen 1994

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Let us build a house where hands will reach

beyond the wood and stone

to heal and strengthen, serve and teach,

and live the Word they’ve known.

Here the outcast and the stranger

bear the image of God’s face;

let us bring an end to fear and danger:

All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

 

_RJP1451-Edit

 

 

This hymn doesn’t actually have my favourite tune, and it needs to be sung quite fast in order that its length doesn’t drag. But the inclusivity of the language expresses the ideals of my faith. I first met this hymn while I was training for ministry at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. The hymn encourages us to remain open to newcomers and strangers, however much they may challenge us, because God especially speaks to us through their unfamiliarity.

 

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Bing Bing’s Hymn

It is well with my soul

Ho­ra­tio G. Spaf­ford, 1873.

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When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

 

Bing_Bing_for_Web_2
Hectic university life, living abroad away from family make me feel lonely at times. Medicine is tough and full of uncertainties. But God is faithful and all I can do is trust and surrender all to Him as the hymn sings: it is well, it is well with my soul.

 

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Sophia’s Hymn

 

Jesu, tawa pano

Patrick Matsikenyiri, 1990

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Jesu, tawa pano; Jesu, tawa pano;

Jesu, tawa pano; tawa pano, mu zita renyu.

Sophia_for_Web_1

Its written in Shona making it easy to understand in the service.

 

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Sheila’s Hymn

How Great Thou Art!

Original Swedish poem by Carl Gustaf Boberg, 1859-1940,

Translated into English by Stuart K. Hine in 1949

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Then sings my soul,

My Saviour God, to Thee,

How great Thou art,

How great Thou art.

 

Sheila_for_Web_1

I chose this hymn because it speaks of the wonderful world designed and created by God for us to enjoy – of lofty snow capped mountains, rough seas, amazing skies, quiet gardens and much more! But it is also about God’s son, who loved me so much that he came to die that we might know his forgiveness and peace and experience life full of adventure and service through His power and guidance. No wonder I want to sing “How great Thou art” !

 

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Jonathan’s Hymn

O love that wilt not let me go

George Matheson, 1842-1906

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O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain,

That morn shall tearless be.

 

Jonathan_for_Web _1

These lines sum up the Christian hope for me and my own experience that God’s love is there even when life is hard.

 

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Tony’s Hymn

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Isaac Watts, 1707

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Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Tony_for_Web_1

This is one hymn that I have sung every year since my first year of secondary school, Obviously the cross is the symbol of Christianity, and although it was the scene of Christ’s suffering and death, it is here described as “wondrous” because we know it will be followed by the Resurrection. I love the beauty of its imagery and language and its power to move me.

 

 

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Mary’s Hymn

O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness

John S. B. Monsell, 1863.

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Low at His feet lay thy burden of carefulness,

high on His heart He will bear it for thee;

comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,

guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

 

Mary_for_web_2

I chose this hymn as I chose it for my wedding in 1968. It was difficult to pick out a phrase as I love all the words. Each verse speaks to the different responses that God makes in the different circumstances in life.

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Dillys’ Hymn

Days of Elijah

Robin Mark, 1999

… and these are the days of Your servant Moses

Righteousness being restored

And though these are days of great trials

Of famine and darkness and sword

Still we are the voice in the desert crying

“Prepare ye the way of the Lord!”

Behold He comes, riding on the clouds

Shining like the sun at the trumpet call …

Dillys_for_Web_3

I chose this song because it always reminds me to stand firm in the Lord in times of trials and difficulties. Also reminds me to lift up my voice to Him in prayers at those moments.

 

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Richard’s Hymn

Love Came down at Christmas

Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

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Love came down at Christmas

Love all lovely, love divine

Love was born at Christmas

Star and angels gave the sign

 

Richard_for_web_1

 The opening line says it all.

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Muzi’s Hymn

Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God

Karen Lafferty, 1974

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Man shall not live by bread alone

But by every word

That proceeds from the mouth of God.

Allelu, Alleluia.

 

Muzi_for_Web_1

It reminds me of my high school where every morning we started with song every day of the week and prayers.  It reminds me of when I was back home teaching Boy Scouts and when one of my boys was doing a reading on this and he started to sing the verse and we all joined in.

 

 

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Hezekiel’s Hymn

Jesu, tawa pano

Patrick Matsikenyiri, 1990

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Jesu, tawa pano; Jesu, tawa pano;

Jesu, tawa pano; tawa pano, mu zita renyu.

 

Hezekial_for_Web_1

 

Jesu tawa panu – Jesus we are here. I’ve known this song all my life.  It is a song to sing when we come to Jesus and remember him.