News Archive ~ Our Hymn

Sunday, 21 October 2012

On Sunday 21st October we sang the hymn written specially for the restoration of our chancel, for the first time. It has been written specially for us by Paul Wigmore – one of this country’s leading hymn-writers.

Paul Wigmore has so kindly written ‘our hymn’ – indeed struggled to some extent with it, given the rather unusual nature of what we are celebrating. As he himself said, ‘how do you write a hymn about paintings’.

Well, he did it, and it is ‘our hymn’, which is rather special. And now we’ve sung it for the first time.

It’s wonderful what a human spirit can create, inspired by the glory of God and in his service and praise.

The text for the hymn and a recording of the first rendition is below.

We come to this place

We come to this place to remember and meditate,
Speaking to God as we sing and we pray,
And lifting our eyes, we can see there a parable –
Beauty renewed in a shining array.

The paintings remind us of God and His way with us,
Prophets and priests on the earth that we share;
And there go disciples, apostles and cherubim,
Silently hearing our praise and our prayer.

They help us imagine the Lord and his suffering,
Mary the Magdalene down by his tomb;
We picture the risen Lord seated among them all,
Breaking the bread in a quiet upper room.

Today we remember the work of those long ago.
Giving these treasures for us as we praise;
Dear Lord we give thanks for their love and their thoughtfulness,
Fruit of their faith in the Ancient of Days.

These pictures, once veiled in the wear of a century
Cleansed and renewed with their beauty revealed!
And thus do our souls become veiled by our waywardness,
Till, through Godʼs power to renew, we are healed.

All glory to God for his goodness and love for us,
Glory to Christ, our Redeemer and friend,
To Godʼs Holy Spirit be glory for evermore,
In every one of us, world without end.

A hymn in celebration of the 2012 restoration of the century-old Chancel frescos in the Church of St Magdalene, Enfield

Words ©Paul Wigmore (b.1925), September 2012

Tune: Was Lebet (‘O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’)

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Welcome to Saint Mary Magdalene, Enfield.