Another Ely Blog!

allyRevd Ally Barrett of Buckden Church blogs here, and Buckden Church is online too. Thanks to Paxtonvic for the lead.

Ally is amongst other things a gifted hymnwriter, and I’d like to reproduce one of her latest (which I gather she is happy for others to use non-commercially, with due acknowledgment). She writes:

I’d completely forgotten about this one. We tried it out at church the other week (when the vine and the branches came up in the lectionary) and people seemed to like it. It goes to the tune of ‘The Church’s one Foundation’ (which may have been what they liked!). It’s based (mostly) on the seven marks of a healthy church – see if you can spot them!

it particularly appeals to me of course because I keep on banging on about John 15, growth and roots, shoots and fruits, and open churches.

Be here, Lord, in your churches,
And shine through us your light,
As cities built on hill-tops
We’ll not be hid from sight,
O give us, Lord, the courage,
the energy and drive
to make our faith turn outwards,
incarnate and alive.

May we, in words and action
Bring all your plans to birth,
Make us your holy people
for this, your needy earth.
When all our aspirations
Can’t set our hearts on fire,
Lord, fill us with the passion
that you alone inspire.

Lord, give us roots that nourish
the branch, the leaf, the shoot,
And help us by your pruning
To yield a richer fruit.
Lord, save us from distractions
that human minds devise,
And give us grace to strive for the trophies you most prize.

Are we a true communion,
diverse and yet as one?
A house with doors wide open,
and room for all who come?
Renew your church in mission,
In ministry and grace,
That all who seek may find you,
In this and every place.