Platinum party

Jim Linwood's picture inside the cathedral.
Jim Linwood’s picture inside the cathedral.

This week I had the privilege of being able to premiere one of my hymns with a packed congregation at the stunning Coventry Cathedral.

We were there to celebrate the Platinum (70th) anniversary of Methodist Homes (MHA) and I had been asked to write a hymn to mark the event.

MHA is a charity providing care, accommodation and support services for older people throughout Britain.  Around 16,000 people are cared for:

5,000 older people living in care homes – residential, nursing and specialist dementia care;
2,000 older people living independently – in a range of purpose-built apartments with flexible support and personalised care
9,000 older people supported via live at home services in the community.

MHA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for older people, inspired by Christian concern.

The service included The Seven Ages of MHA – a trot through the organisation’s history – and a really appropriate sermon from their patron, Baroness the Revd Kathleen Richardson.

The service ended with singing the anniversary hymn and a cathedral full of Methodists singing to the tune Calon Lân is a great sound. I had been asked to provide a hymn that included recognition of MHA’s specialism – care of older people – but was a hymn of confidence in God. The text is:

Timeless God, you hold our story:

The old cathedral
The old cathedral
weave our dreams into your plan.
Make your Church a living witness
to the work that Christ began.
 
Come the day that love has conquered,
and the hosts of heaven sing,
may our lives on earth have echoed:
‘God is Lord and Christ is King’.
 
Gracious God, you offer wisdom
far beyond our human minds.
Yet you trust us, in our weakness,
to bring insight to the blind.
 
Come the day …
 
When our human powers falter
keep us focused on your call.
Strengthen us to share the message
of abundant life for all.
 
Come the day …
 
God eternal, hear our longing
to be heralds of your grace:
till Creation’s restless longing
finds its peace in your embrace.
 
Come the day …
Gareth Hill. Copyright © 2013 Gareth Hill Publishing/Song Solutions Copycare, 14 Horsted Square, Uckfield TN22 1QG http://www.songsolutions.org
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