A Hymn of our Passing Age

Metre: 87 87 DBlaenwern

Through the ages God is present
In the world that he has made.
Yet today so many doubt Him,
Lured by self, by ego swayed.
Self–sufficient, world relying,
Blind to Spirit, mystery’s call:
Come, O Lord of love and reason,
Speak afresh through us to all!

Through the ages love is present,
Care and mercy heal our pain.
Jesus’ life fills every moment,
Saving all that death has slain.
Help us see His life in others,
Those we find so hard to like.
Where our difference leads to hatred,
May His love with mercy strike.

Through the ages truth is present,
Leading us from dark to light.
Knowledge, justice, honour, reason
Help us see and share what’s right.
Heavenly truth brings wisdom’s insights –
Spirit speaks and moves today,
In the issues of our future:
God is there to point the way.

Through the ages Christ is present
In our faith and love and need:
Read in Scripture, seen in Jesus,
Honours those of other creed.
Bless your world that bleeds and falters –
Give us hope to guide our ways;
Bring your justice to all people:
Change our lives for future days!

© Neil Thompson 2021

A Hymn of Simple Living

Metre: 66 66St Cecilia

Tread softly on this Earth
For it is holy ground:
It’s lent to us from birth –
A home where love is found.

The world that forms our lives
And holds us all as one –
Where caring service thrives:
God’s holy will is done.

The kingdoms of our day
Are but a passing power;
Look out beyond their sway
To see God’s purpose flower.

Live simply in your heart;
May others fill our mind,
That we may play our part
In serving humankind.

The land where Jesus trod
Has never known his peace.
We fail to honour God
Until our hatreds cease.

To share and learn and grow
Is future’s hope today:
The seeds of change to sow,
To follow in Christ’s way.

The kingdom of the Lord
Brings change and justice brave –
More than we dare afford
Is Jesus’ call to save!

© Neil Thompson 2021

A Hymn of Loss and Recovery (after the Covid–19 pandemic)

Metre: 87 87 DCorvedale or Blaenwern

Unseen foes fragment our living
Bringing fear and loss and death;
Fragile lives brought down, each giving
Epidemic's threat to breath.
Lord, our world is ever learning
Life and change are ever one:
Heal us, help us in discerning
Faith that leads till days are done.

Every people, every nation –
Illness strikes at all, bar none.
God is here in his creation
Sharing life in Christ, his Son.
With the poorest and the weakest
Brings his love to share our wealth –
Reaching those whose lot is bleakest,
Healing, caring, bringing health.

In our caring, love remakes us,
Helps us see the world afresh.
Different values redefine us
In our power and fragile flesh.
Service marks our needs in others,
Sacrifice brings life for all –
As we journey, sisters, brothers,
On the road – so none shall fall.

Science, art and recreation
Blessed by God, creation’s fount,
Offer hope to every nation
So that every life can count.
Take our lives, O God of healing,
Change our lands with daring love:
Self–denying, truth revealing,
Set our hearts on heaven above!

All the loss and dislocation,
All the grief and broken hearts
Are restored in God’s salvation –
Risen life where death departs:
Future joys beyond all telling
Won by Jesus Christ the Lord,
Formed by Spirit’s love indwelling
As we live with one accord!

© Neil Thompson 2021

Thy Kingdom Come

Metre: 10 10 10 10Woodlands

Thy Kingdom Come – Lord teach us how to pray
For others that they might find faith in you
And know your friendship each and every day:
Jesus the way and life for ever true!

Thy Kingdom Come – Christ’s prayer that love will take
Our human lives and make us all as one;
To live for God and one another’s sake
By Jesus’ life and grace: ‘thy will be done’.

Thy Kingdom Come – we pray for those we know
To find Christ’s peace and joy in all we do;
For by the Spirit’s truth all life will grow:
Our tired and broken lives by love made new.

Thy Kingdom Come – a brighter light will shine
Throughout the world where prayer lets Spirit free
Our selfish lives to be a daring sign
Of Jesus’ risen life: God’s liberty!

Thy Kingdom Come – transform our human ways:
A common life of mercy, truth and care,
Nations renewed, as giving thanks and praise
To God in Jesus: here we make our prayer.

For Canon Jean Kerr who commissioned this hymn, and the global wave of prayer: Thy Kingdom Come

© Neil Thompson 2020

A Hymn of Peace

Metre: 86 86 86 86 (Double Common Metre)Coe Fen

Written to commemorate the centenary of World War 1 Armistice — Remembrancetide 2018

We yearn for peace but still fight wars
and fail to learn God’s ways;
the past is blamed to find a cause
for warring present days.
Come Spirit blessed to make us new,
break habits, hate and fears –
to see the Christ in other’s view
and feel His pain and tears.

In Bible’s page the nations fight
and claim that God is theirs.
Forgive us Lord, restore our sight
that we might live our prayers.
The past is drenched by blood and loss
through wars and violent ways;
may Jesus on his holy cross
redeem our human days.

This simple gift for all the earth,
once won on history’s stage:
love’s tortured death, stripp’d of His worth,
spills out to every age.
The fallen – broken, lifeless dust –
by Christ are healed and raised
beyond our power; the Father’s trust
by Church and world be praised!

Lord, grant us strength to fight for peace
and speak love’s truth today;
with wills resolved we’ll never cease
to watch and love and pray:
that all may live in freedom blessed
and care for those in need.
In peace may the departed rest,
from time and death be freed.

God’s peace fulfils and blesses life,
it heals the aching soul;
there is a way in place of strife
that makes all people whole.
This hope is real but costs our pride:
Lord, help us choose love’s way
where hearts and minds are open wide
In this and every day!

© Neil Thompson 2018

A Hymn of Gathering

Metre: 76 76 D Refrain 6686 Tune: Wir Pflugen

We gather as God’s people
To be his life today;
We have to be together
To learn Christ’s saving way.
Our failings here forgiven,
New life from God outpoured;
His Church is now made holy,
By Jesus’ grace restored.

God’s love calls each person
To form Christ’s family:
We share his life, receive his food –
Transformed in unity.

We come to God in worship
To give ourselves in love.
We hear his holy Gospel –
Truth coming from above.
The story of our Saviour
Lives here in you and me
To be his love for others:
Christ sets all people free!

The mystery of Christ’s body
Gives every time and place
The promise of his presence:
Hope for the human race.
He needs us to be faithful
As Jesus’ life today;
We ask for strength and blessing
To live out what we pray.

© Neil Thompson 2014

A Hymn of the Holy Trinity

Metre: 99 99Randolph

God is love and God is mystery:
He is Father, source of all being;
Spirit bringing God’s way of seeing;
God in Jesus bound by history.

God is one and God is Trinity:
In his life we find human meaning,
Jesus Christ through time intervening –
Conquering death by love’s divinity.

God is here and yet beyond our sight:
Father’s love in Jesus, befriending;
Spirit’s joy in life never ending;
Human days are set in endless light.

God brings all into his unity:
Love forgives and heals all our warring,
From the cross God’s lifeblood outpouring –
Asks us into his eternity.

Lift us Lord into your holy light:
Guide our path and bless all our living;
Take our lives in worship’s self–giving –
Raise creation into heaven’s height!


© Neil Thompson 2012

Christ has called us in our living

Metre: 85 85 and refrainGuiting Power

Christ has called us in our living,
there his love to find –
in our neighbour and self–giving,
peace of heart and mind.
Here in bread and wine we bring
Our lives, our world, our offering.

In our world of deep division,
Jesus makes us one;
each by sin set on collision:
met in God’s own Son.
Here in bread and wine we bring
Our lives, our world, our offering.

Saved by love on cross and altar:
sacrifice is done;
there, where each of us will falter,
Christ o’er death has won!
Here in bread and wine we bring
Our lives, our world, our offering.

Body broken, life blood spilling:
Friday victim’s priest;
darkness lit by God now filling
Eucharistic feast.
Here in bread and wine we bring
Our lives, our world, our offering.

Daily wants and wars and terrors
brought now to this place –
for God’s healing of our errors,
touched by Jesus’ grace
Here in bread and wine we bring
Our lives, our world, our offering.

For the future, God now feed us
in this meal of love
that in Jesus you may lead us
to our home above!
Here in bread and wine we bring
Our lives, our world, our offering.

© Neil Thompson 2011

Called by the Word

Metre: 11 10 11 10Lord of the Years

Called by the Word, creation’s life has order
Not just in laws but by love’s power and grace:
Reason and thought impart a human border
Which God has shared and shown in Jesus’ face.

So God has made us, dust and living spirit
Set free to live in time redeemed by Christ:
Here, hand in hand, eternity inherit
For Jesus’ grace – not law – has now sufficed.

I cannot live without my God and neighbour
For like our God, we’re never on our own –
In social light we all can play and labour
Held sure by love that reigns from Calvary’s throne.

God’s ways bring joy to those who risk in giving –
Lost to ourselves and found in other’s delight:
Jesus has shown us – taught us thankful living –
Released from self and opened to God’s light.

Mother and child lie at the heart of caring,
In Mary’s arms, Creator’s child once lay;
Then on the Cross his broken body bearing
All law and sin into th’Eternal Day.

Dare we now trust Christ’s love in one another?
Come, Lord, in power and set your people free
By Spirit’s gift in sister and in brother
Formed in the world as Jesus’ family!

© Neil Thompson 2010

A Hymn of God the Rock

Metre: 88 88Rievaulx

God is the rock whose love so sure
Can reach all pain, e’en death endure;
Yet to to this earth our frailty clings
Fearing the worst our future brings.

God is the rock – by love hewn out –
Filled by the pools of human doubt
Which God contains and makes his own
In Jesus Christ – his love made known.

God is the rock whose power can heal,
Whose touch assures, whose truth is real;
All need a refuge from time’s blast
To gain the peace of God at last.

God is the rock that lives within,
Molten and purging human sin:
It’s ancient, new and Spirit borne,
Affording all a saving dawn!

God is the rock by which we know
That we are dust yet born to live
In him whose strength will make us grow
To find his life in all we give.

© Neil Thompson 2010

A Hymn of God's Generous Love

Metre: 86 86 + refrainLangstaff

No song can sing or thought embrace
God’s endless, selfless life;
Yet love floods in with Jesus’ grace
And shares our fears and strife.
O lavish love poured ever free
To heal and save humanity!

All that I am I give to you,
Says God in scripture’s page;
All that I have I share with you –
In this and every age.

There is no start or end to Him
Who shapes all nature’s law;
God’s love o’erflows creation’s brim
And breaks down death’s dread door.

In Christ, God saves the weak and lost –
He shares our pain and fear:
His heart of love bears every cost
Of bringing heaven here.

The generous love that Jesus lives
Exceeds our partial ways:
Forgiveness, grace, he always gives
To those who give him praise.

No door is shut to those who seek
The help of God on high;
No creed or might defeats the meek –
He hears their every cry.

And so the Church must act to be
A faithful loving sign
As God incarnate’s family
Ablaze with fire divine!

© Neil Thompson 2010

A Hymn of God's Music

Metre: 10 10 10 + AlleluyaTune: Engelberg

The soul cries out to God, whose music sings –
as daily round and chore is given wings –
for sound and matter join in praise that rings:

Time’s pulse brings song to life for human kind –
as Spirit touches soul and ear and mind
in meaning’s depth through which the Lord we find:

The part and whole are blest and wed in one
by God whose tune through every age has run
in Christ whose victory over death is won:

For some the music’s all that they can hear:
the life of God in creed is far from clear;
yet Love incarnate touches every fear:

Let all that breathe sing praise to God this day
and harmonise our lives as one we pray
through Jesus Christ – our music and the Way:

© Neil Thompson 2007

A Hymn of the Mystical Way

Metre: 87 87Halton Holgate

Sing the silence; shine the darkness!
Praise of God defies all laws
Made by us to shape the starkness
Of a world without a cause.

He who is, has no beginning,
Yet in time God chose to die:
Take our days – all loss now winning
From all sense of how and why.

Rays of darkness, silence singing,
– Lead us from the sensate realms
To the inner source whose springing
Liberates not overwhelms.

Take our world of sense and substance,
Make what’s passing, yours for aye.
Reach us, closing every distance
With the mystery of your way.

Starlit darkness, Christ in glory,
Help us find that way today:
Hidden truth and inner story –
Spirit’s life in pots of clay.

© Neil Thompson 2004

A Hymn of the Cross

Metre: 98 96 and refrainTune: Christ, be our Light (Bernadette Farrell)

Birth gives us life, sentenced to perish;
Creation’s truth: time brings the grave.
Joined now by God, Jesus our brother,
Dying, to set us free!

Christ on the Cross
Blesses the world
Now and for ever.
Christ on the Cross,
True face of love,
Reigns as our King!

Nails in to flesh, noonday’s deep darkness;
Crucified love, Jesus the lamb –
Hold us through time, death’s final moment,
Hand of eternity.

Words of despair, crowd cruelly mocking:
‘Justice’ is done – world’s ruling ways.
History’s cross – whose is the triumph?
– Love’s cry of agony!

Christ dies today, countless the moments
We drive the nails into the Tree.
Lord, in this pain, redeem your people,
Broken humanity.

Sign for the world, changing our values:
Rescues the lost no one can save.
Here is the hope, love beyond measure,
God of humility.

Who rules our world? What do we worship?
Is gold our god? …or is it ‘me’?
Crucified God, sharing your mercy,
Forgive our treachery.

(for Adrian & Sarah Jane and the Church of Holy Cross, Motspur Park)

© Neil Thompson 2003

Water of life

Metre: 13 10 13 10Blow the wind southerly


For with you is the well of life
And in your light shall we see light ~ Psalm 36.9

Water of life comes from God’s well, the source of all:
Fountain of love flowing widely and free.
Each of us, Spirit borne, flows never endingly,
Separate drops held in Christ’s unity.

Praise God for the fountain, his Spirit’s activity,
Sharing the water of life on his earth.
Enliven your Church to release from captivity
Prisoners and victims – redeemed by Christ’s birth.

Divided and fractured by creed and by history,
Remake us, Lord now, as only you can:
Christ Jesus amongst us in time and in mystery –
Fragments and droplets retrieved in his plan.

Enlighten your Church, Lord, to see your diversity
Shining in all life that you’ve brought to be.
True faith knows no limits in God’s creativity:
Jesus the fountainhead sets us all free.

Here’s love overflowing, cascading with energy,
God in his Spirit is playing in light.
Here’s joy without measure that banishes lethargy,
Lighten our darkness, Lord, bless us with sight.

© Neil Thompson 2002

Offertory Hymn

Metre: 86 86St Botolph

Lord, bless our bread, the world, each life –
That earthly food may be
The living Christ, love’s saving feast,
And find its home in me.

The gifts I have can cut me off
As self blots out Christ’s light.
O meet my broken hungry soul
And save me in my plight!

We bring to God the hidden pains
And wants that fill each day.
The whole world o’er needs Christ’s new life:
O Lord, for this we pray.

The Spirit and the broken bread
Make Christ alive to all;
The hunger caused by apple grasped,
Is met – and breaks our Fall.

A loaf can feed us for a day
But some have none and die.
The greedy world has food to spare
And fails to hear God’s cry.

St Francis turned from wealth to Christ
And found love’s simple way –
Where ‘Lady Poverty’ brings gifts
That riches cannot pay.

St Francis and St Clare left all
To feed the world with prayer –
It changes human grasping ways
To love: to risk and share.

The desert years that Israel spent
To reach the Promised Land,
Were blessed by God with bread and drink
Which faith drew from his hand.

The priestly life accepts the cost
Of love and freedom’s edge.
The burden and the joy of Christ
Makes real God’s heavenly pledge.

And so we pray that Christ will make
The eucharistic bread
A meeting place, where blessed and shared,
All people may be fed.

This hymn was written for the First Mass of the Revd Joanne Farman, a Francisan tertiary

Verses 6, 7 & 9 can be omtted for general use

© Neil Thompson 2001

Living Word ~ a gradual hymn

Metre: IrregularAs the deer (Nystrom)

Living Word, in gospel story
Your people hold you high!
Holy Word, incarnate glory,
In Jesus you come nigh.

Holy Spirit light our minds,
And chase away the dark that blinds.
Teach your ways of love and peace
As we hear the Word of Life.

Break the Word to release the meaning
Of the Father’s ways of love.
Hear the Word of Jesus, reigning,
With the Spirit’s seal, the Dove.

Live the Word, the disciples’ calling!
Show the world the joy of life,
Lived for God in Jesus toiling
To redeem our endless strife.

© Neil Thompson 1999

Replacement verses (2,3 & 4) for ‘Lift up your hearts’

Metre: 10 10 10 10Woodlands

Redeem us Lord from all those former years
Where guilt and failure formed our present fears;
By grace release us as we sing and pray:
O Lord of light, lift all our hearts today!

Bring light and joy to every human heart:
In Jesus Christ you share our human part
And heal, forgive, transform and make us whole,
O Lord of Truth, lift every Christian soul!

Take all our lives – our strengths and gifts and gains –
For in our freedom, Jesus lives and reigns;
Our minds and wills set free to sing your praise
Which brings eternal peace to human days.

© Neil Thompson