A Hymn of St Francis

Metre: 87 87 47St Helen

Saint much loved for simple living,
Born with wealth to God repay:
Heard love's call to selfless giving –
Mends God's house without delay.
Holy Francis,
Pray for us, Christ's Church today.

Poor for Christ and rich for ever,
Francis shows what all can be
When our selfish lusts we sever
In God's greater liberty.
Holy Francis,
Clothed in true humility.

Great the love he showed for Jesus –
Rich and poor alike did treat –
In the way our Saviour sees us:
Through the cross all people meet.
Holy Francis,
Marked by love in hands and feet.

Christmas crib he built for seeing
God in Jesus' humble birth;
Time and nature now agreeing
By love's gift beyond all worth.
Holy Francis,
One with God and all the earth!

© Neil Thompson 2014

Hymn for the Feast of St Joseph

Metre: 87 87Sussex

Joseph called to be Christ’s father,
Guardian strong in hillside town;
Rough hewn wood by hands well crafted
Shaped God’s life for Calvary’s crown.

David’s son returned to Bethlem
Where the Virgin bore a child
By God’s plan they fled to Egypt
From King Herod’s temper wild.

In love’s plan we see St Joseph
Caring, guiding, life unknown:
Rears the child to save all people –
Nurtured, safe, till fully grown.

By his prayers our lives are strengthened,
And the Church’s unity
Formed by Spirit, Jesus’ body,
In God’s holy family.

© Neil Thompson 2012

Metrical Nunc Dimittis

Metre: 65 65Pastor Pastorum

Now Lord, let your servant
Leave this life in peace:
For your word has taught us –
Love will never cease.

Eyes with wonder seeing
In this moment’s rite,
Israel’s promised glory,
Every nation’s light.

Holy people waiting
For Christ’s light to shine:
Temple prayers now answered –
Jesus is God’s sign.

Sign and Son and saviour
Held in Mary’s arms:
Promise for all peoples
Sung in Israel’s psalms.

© Neil Thompson 2012

Extra verse for Ordination ~ Crown him with many crowns

Metre: 66 86 66 86Diademata

Crown him, the servant King
Who kneels to wash our feet;
A victim led through death’s dread sting
And raised: here, bread to eat.
We offer now our praise,
Our strengths and gifts we bring
That we may serve him all our days
And earth with heaven may sing!

© Neil Thompson 2009

A Hymn of St Andrew for Rochester

Metre: 87 88 7 "Etheldreda" ~ Arthur Wills 1983

Saltire cross is Andrew’s glory,
Saint renowned and praised today –
For his faith and holy living,
Leaving all – to Jesus giving –
Future formed in God’s own way.

First to hear and follow Jesus
By the Sea of Galilee;
Andrew then sought out his brother –
Come to him, who like no other,
Brings the life that sets all free.

Holy monks who built by Medway
Church and abbey for the Lord,
Called upon the prayers of Andrew,
Trusting life to Saviour’s hand, who
Leads and guides us by truth’s sword.

Blade of light and heavenly armour –
Saints are clad in Spirit’s power;
Serving Christ and making holy,
Stones and lives by love made lowly:
Rochester – St Andrew’s flower!

Blessed Mary, Jesu’s mother,
Holds her Son in love today;
With St Andrew, blessed in glory,
Prays and meets us in the story
Lit by Christ’s eternal Day.

© Neil Thompson 2009

Ordination Hymn

Metre: 10 10 10 10"Woodlands"

The word of God calls each and every soul
To seek the length and breadth and depth of love;
This call for some takes on Christ’s yoke, the stole –
In orders blessed by cross and Spirit’s dove.

A life of cost is blessed by Christ’s own death;
His risen life feeds us through broken bread;
The priest receives the Spirit’s promised breath
To share the power that raised Christ from the dead.

This grace is risk, a gift to all the earth,
Each person sent to journey in God’s light –
Through want and need to see our neighbour’s worth
And offer all to Christ each day and night.

Our prayer today we make through Christ the Lord,
That word and sacrament may make us one:
To care for those whose lives in love outpoured,
To serve the One through whom all ages run.

© Neil Thompson 2009

Lord, you meet us from the future (Medway version)

Metre: 87 87 87 87Tune: Blaenwern

Lord, you meet us from the future:
All our past by love made new;
Present doubts and faltering footsteps
Strengthened by this larger view:
People, places, held together
By the power of God in prayer.
What we offer, risk and promise,
Take, O Lord, into your care.

Town and country, city’s suburbs –
Form the place of holy light:
God in Jesus lives amongst us,
Builds a world beyond our sight.
Here the Kingdom claims all people,
Loved by Christ, whoe’er we be;
Complex problems, pressing issues,
Lit by God’s humility.

Years and seasons shape our living –
Changing lives beyond our power.
In this process God is present,
Jesus shares each passing hour.
Spirit, fill us: make us thankful
For the past’s rich gifts today.
God works in us, through our frailty,
Raising dust and lives of clay!

Lord, we strive to live your justice:
In our age, to Christ be true.
Help us share the pains of Calvary
In the cries of lost and few.
In a world obsessed by money,
Power and status, free us all.
Touch our lives with love’s forgiveness,
Faithful to our Saviour’s call.

People set by Medway’s river –
Joined by bridge in castle’s shade:
Spanning years and human journeys –
Sign of faith and Spirit’s aid.
So we walk by faith as pilgrims
Called by Christ to run love’s race:
God transcends our human difference
By the power of Jesus’ grace!

© Neil Thompson 2008

Lord, you meet us from the future (Limpsfield version)

Metre: 87 87 87 87Tune: Blaenwern

Lord, you meet us from the future:
All our past by love made new;
Present doubts and faltering footsteps
Strengthened by this larger view:
People, places, held together
By the power of God in prayer.
What we offer, risk and promise,
Take, O Lord, into your care.

Town and country, city’s suburbs –
Form the place of holy light:
God in Jesus lives amongst us,
Builds a world beyond our sight.
Here the Kingdom claims all people,
Loved by Christ, whoe’er we be;
Complex problems, pressing issues,
Lit by God’s humility.

Years and seasons shape our living –
Changing lives beyond our power.
In this process God is present,
Jesus shares each passing hour.
Spirit, fill us: make us thankful
For the past’s rich gifts today.
God works in us, through our frailty,
Raising dust and lives of clay!

Lord, we strive to live your justice:
In our age, to Christ be true.
Help us share the pains of Calvary
In the cries of lost and few.
In a world obsessed by money,
Power and status, free us all.
Touch our lives with love’s forgiveness,
Faithful to our Saviour’s call.

Surrey’s Downs and Kentish wealdland –
Chart and Village give you praise:
Limpsfield’s people blest and favoured –
Energised by Spirit’s blaze!
So we tread this earth as pilgrims
Called by Christ to run love’s race:
God transcends all loss and leaving
By the power of Jesus’ grace!

© Neil Thompson 2008

Diocese of Southwark ~ Centenary Hymn People – Places – Prayer

Metre: 87 87 87 87Tune: Blaenwern

Lord, you meet us from the future:
All our past by love made new;
Present doubts and faltering footsteps
Strengthened by this larger view:
People, places, held together
By the power of God in prayer.
What we offer, risk and promise,
Take, O Lord, into your care.

Town and country, city’s suburbs –
Form the place of holy light:
God in Jesus lives amongst us,
Builds a world beyond our sight.
Here the Kingdom claims all people,
Loved by Christ, whoe’er we be;
Complex problems, pressing issues,
Lit by God’s humility.

Years and seasons shape our living –
Changing lives beyond our power.
In this process God is present,
Jesus shares each passing hour.
Spirit, fill us: make us thankful
For the past’s rich gifts today.
God works in us, through our frailty,
Raising dust and lives of clay!

Lord, we strive to live your justice:
In our age, to Christ be true.
Help us share the pains of Calvary
In the cries of lost and few.
In a world obsessed by money,
Power and status, free us all.
Touch our lives with love’s forgiveness,
Faithful to our Saviour’s call.

Gatwick’s planes and London’s river –
Borders of a see of praise:
Southwark’s people blest and needy –
Energised by Spirit’s blaze!
So we fly and flow as pilgrims
Called by Christ to run love’s race:
God transcends our human difference
By the power of Jesus’ grace!

© Neil Thompson 2005

Wedding Hymn

Metre: Irregular 13 13 13 13 13 13Thaxted

This day is blessed by God’s sweet joy which comes from heaven above
and fills our lives, each passing hour – the gift of life and love.
No doubt or pain can conquer the power His Spirit brings
to those who offer all to him in Christ the King of kings.
Such love binds hearts together, in vows that set us free:
our lives we give and lose through time – to find eternity.

And so we sing and pray for those whose vows are made today:
to love and care through good and ill – as shown by Christ the Way.
His truth brings light in darkness; His life unites us all:
the marriage feast invites the world to share in Jesus’ call.
This love we know and see each day in every round and task:
God’s peace and life in Jesus Christ is all we need to ask.

Then come what may, our lives are safe, protected by God’s Word.
In Jesus Christ he speaks to us – our every need is heard.
Our human love is holy when touched by Spirit’s flame;
it leads us into trust and hope, and takes away all blame.
This love will never fail us; it holds us to the end –
and brings us to our heavenly home in Christ our Lord and friend.

© Neil Thompson 2005

Water of life

Metre: 13 10 13 10Blow the wind southerly

A HYMN FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

For with you is the well of life
And in your light shall we see light ~ Psalm 36.9


Water of life comes from God’s well, the source of all:
Fountain of love flowing widely and free.
Each of us, Spirit borne, flows never endingly,
Separate drops held in Christ’s unity.

Praise God for the fountain, his Spirit’s activity,
Sharing the water of life on his earth.
Enliven your Church to release from captivity
Prisoners and victims – redeemed by Christ’s birth.

Divided and fractured by creed and by history,
Remake us, Lord now, as only you can:
Christ Jesus amongst us in time and in mystery –
Fragments and droplets retrieved in his plan.

Enlighten your Church, Lord, to see your diversity
Shining in all life that you’ve brought to be.
True faith knows no limits in God’s creativity:
Jesus the fountainhead sets us all free.

Here’s love overflowing, cascading with energy,
God in his Spirit is playing in light.
Here’s joy without measure that banishes lethargy,
Lighten our darkness, Lord, bless us with sight.

© Neil Thompson 2002

A Hymn to St Peter

Metre: 85 85 & refrainGuiting Power

Simon Peter on the sea shore
Busy at his trade,
Jesus calls him – ‘you can be more’:
Adam’s life re–made.
Holy Peter feed Christ’s flock,
The Church’s rock, O pray for us!

So he answered Jesus’ calling,
Leaving fish for men.
Peter’s life is changed to trawling
Depths beyond mind’s ken.

Blunt and forthright in confessing
‘You are Christ the Lord’.
Peter’s words, his God addressing,
Heaven’s truth assured.

Thrice denying, yet repenting:
Faltering human ways.
Faithful Peter, ne’er relenting,
Through change gives God praise.

Holy living, holy dying,
Prince, apostle, saint:
Peter’s strength for ever trying –
Glory – without taint.

Inverse cross and keys of heaven,
Peter’s death and life,
Yeast and salt, the Christ’s pure leaven,
Peace in earthly strife.

© Neil Thompson 2000