- For the Victorians faith was an important element in their lives. It was the community of the local church that was their main source of friends and with that socialising and entertainment.
- The Christian belief in Jesus as Lord, how he helped the poor, distraught, down trodden inspired many to help others.
- Church schools brought education for all; people like William Barnardo and George Müller cared for orphans Dr Banardos still caring for unwanted Children. William Booth helped the homeless, poor and unemployed with the Salvation Army.
- Christian politicians like Lord Shaftesbury and Sir William Gladstone cared deeply about social justice and tried to change what they could, the influence of Christ was felt deeply in the Christian era.
For myself, I am a Christian and have recently moved to a traditional Anglican Church of St Mary’s. It was built in 1861 and is a fine example of a Victorian Church, it is beautiful inside and has a full graveyard, and the remains of the former Church (although there have been Churches on this site for 1000 years).
- It has a good Choir of all ages and great Choir Master/Organist.
- When serving we wear robes. We use the common prayer book and also the 1662 service, and The Rector is a lovely incumbent and I can’t help but feel a connection with those who attended the Church in the 160 years or so.
- This morning we sang one of my favourite hymns called ‘Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven‘, I always liked it even when I was a child. It was composed and written by an Anglican divine and hymnist called Henry Francis Lyte who lived from 1793–1847. He attended Trinity College in Dublin and took orders and became the incumbent of Lower Brixham in Devonshire. So hear are his words that have been sang in many Churches for the last 170 years.
- Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me His praise should sing:
Praise the everlasting King.
- Praise Him for His grace and favour
To our fathers in distress.
Praise Him still the same as ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Glorious in His faithfulness.
- Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Widely yet His mercy flows.
- Frail as summer’s flower we flourish,
Blows the wind and it is gone;
But while mortals rise and perish
Our God lives unchanging on,
Praise Him, Praise Him, Hallelujah
Praise the High Eternal One!
- Angels, help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise with us the God of grace.