As part of the 300th anniversary of the death of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath & Wells from 1684 to 1691, I've written a hymn commemorating his life.
The hymn was first sung in public at St John the Baptist in Frome, the parish church where Thomas Ken was buried, at a service led by Bishop Peter Price on 20th March 2011.
KEN 300 Hymn
Metre: 88.88 (LM) Tune: Winchester New
We sing with thanks for Thomas Ken,
His legacy of life and pen;
Who showed no false respect for Kings
But cherished only heavenly things;
Who made his converse most sincere
And sought all conscience to keep clear;
Who with the world, himself and Thee
When e'er he slept at peace would be.
His heart of love could not be bound:
The prisoner Jeffreys guilty found,
The poor he welcomed home to dine,
Were equally a child of thine.
Through College days, a man of prayers,
But then within the world's affairs
In sad Tangiers, and at The Hague,
He knows their morals far too vague.
The truth, however hard, he tells
And when deprived of Bath and Wells,
His palace and cathedral seat,
Found welcome solace at Longleat.
He wrote and lived to give thee praise:
His hymns begin and end our days.
Our thanks for Ken to thee we bring
And so with him thy praise we sing:
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
© Colin Alsbury 2011