Have Faith in God, my Heart

During this time whilst we can’t sing together in worship we are aiming to post a different hymn each week. For some Sundays it will be the obvious hymn in Common Praise for a particular Sunday and a brief commentary – partly with reference to The Penguin Book of Hymns edited by Ian Bradley, The Nation’s Favourite Hymns by Andrew Barr or research on the internet – will be published with our hymn choice for the week. The words of the hymn will be provided alongside a recording of the hymn, courtesy of Lucy Colbourne at home whilst Lancaster University is in lockdown. This will have been recorded by Billy Colbourne (Assistant Organist) and includes use of his Hauptwerk organ also at home, with the sounds of Salisbury Cathedral’s organ.

Charles Pavey – Organist & Choirmaster

Have Faith in God, my Heart

Have faith in God, my heart, 
Trust and be unafraid; 
God will fulfil in every part 
Each promise He has made. 

Have faith in God, my mind, 
Though oft Thy light burns low; 
God's mercy holds a wiser plan 
Than Thou canst fully know. 

Have faith in God, my soul, 
His cross for ever stands; 
And neither life nor death can pluck 
His children from His hands. 

Lord Jesus, make me whole; 
Grant me no resting place, 
Until I rest, heart, mind, and soul, 
The captive of Thy grace. 

Bryn Rees

Tune: Doncaster
Music: Melody by Samuel Wesley

CCLI - 1073121





Hymn Commentary 

This hymn focuses on the heart, mind and soul in its first three verses, drawing them together in the final verse.  For such great virtues, however, it has not attracted a great deal of fame although the story behind the words has some merit.

The words were written by Bryn Austin Rees (b.1911, Chelsea; d.1983).  From 1940 to 1945 he lived in a large older-type manse in Ipswich which was bombed at times.  It was also on a route taken by the German bombers going to the Midlands and the North so there were many air-raid alerts as well as bombing.  Following one of these night alerts, when he had stayed downstairs, he went into his kitchen and composed the words.  He had been ordained in 1935 into the ministry of the Congregational Church in England and Wales, serving in Eastern England and Muswell Hill, London, as well as being a chaplain to the Royal Air Force during Worlds War Two. 

The hymn tune that is published with Have faith in God, my Heart in Holy Trinity’s hymnal Common Praise is Doncaster, composed by Samuel Wesley (b.1766, Bristol; d.1837, London), one of the famous Wesley threesome: his father, Charles Wesley, was the great writer of hymn words and Samuel’s son, Samuel Sebastian Wesley maintained the short family line of composers.  One of Samuel’s brothers, Charles Wesley junior was also a musical prodigy but he doesn’t seem to have reached the same level of fame…a bit like the hymn itself but, as the hymn suggests, there are more important virtues to nourish and for which to strive.

Charles Pavey - Organist & Choirmaster

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