Hymn of the week: Jesus stand among us

This week’s hymn has a local connection. It was written by William Pennefather, the Irish-born vicar of St Jude, Mildmay Park, near the eastern border of the borough of Islington.

Pennefather exercised a remarkable inter-denominational ministry in the middle part of the 19th Century. He organised a series of missionary conferences, for which his hymns were written, and founded (1860) the first training school for Deaconesses in the English-speaking world. His legacy continues in the Mildmay Mission Hospital, which is today an independent Christian charitable hospital caring for HIV/AIDS patients and their families.

We sang this hymn unaccompanied at the beginning of the Sunday evening service at Caledonian Road Methodist Church.  As Companion to Hymns and Psalms observes, “the purity of diction, and the simplicity of the metre are most effective.” It is particularly appropriate for these early Sundays in Easter, as we hear the Gospel stories of the risen Lord appearing in the midst of his disciples.

Jesus, stand among us
In Thy risen power;
Let this time of worship
Be a hallowed hour.

Breathe the Holy Spirit
Into every heart;
Bid the fears and sorrows
From each soul depart.

Thus with quickened footsteps
We pursue our way,
Watching for the dawning
Of eternal day.

William Pennefather (1816-73)


About Holloway Rev

Paul Weary is a Methodist minister living and working in Holloway, North London.
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