Feast of Walter John Mathams (October 30)   1 comment

08875v

Above:  General View, Swanage, Dorset, England, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08875

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WALTER JOHN MATHAMS (OCTOBER 30, 1853-JANUARY 29, 1931)

British Baptist then Presbyterian Minister, Author, and Hymn Writer

Walter John Mathams led an interesting life.  He, born in London, England, on October 20, 1853, spent part of his early life at sea.  During one voyage he found himself shipwrecked and forced into the Brazilian Army during Brazil’s war with Paraguay (1864-1870).  Our saint did arrive back home safely, though.

Mathams spent part of his life as a Baptist minister.  In 1874 he commenced his studies at Regent’s Park Baptist College, Oxford.  For a few years he served a church at Preston, Lancashire, but bad health forced him to leave for Australia in 1879.  There he also served in the ministerial capacity.  Our saint returned to the British Isles, assuming a pastorate at Falkirk, Scotland, in 1883.  Five years later he transferred to Birmingham, England.

From 1900 to 1931 Mathams was a Presbyterian.  He served in Egypt as a chaplain in the Royal Army (1903-1906); as associate minister at Stronsay, Orkney (1906-1909); and as pastor at St. Columba’s Church, Mallaig, Inverness (1909-1919).  He retired to Roslin, Scotland.  After our saint’s wife, Alexa Jane Mathams, died, however, he relocated to Swanage, Dorset, England, where he died on January 29, 1931.

Mathams survived his son, Robert, who died in 1924 of World War I-related injuries.  Our saint did live long enough, however, to know his granddaughter, Anne Muirhead Mathams (1913-2011), an educator and advocate for those with physical disabilities.

Our saint wrote books and hymns.  His books included:

  1. At Jesu’s Feet (1876), a collection of hymns;
  2. Fireside Parables (1879);
  3. Rough Sermons;
  4. Jack Ahoy;
  5. Comrades All;
  6. Maxim Shots for Soldiers;
  7. A Bowl of the Golden Chants;
  8. Maxims for Boys; and
  9. Sunday Parables (1883).

Hymntime.com lists eighteen hymns Mathams wrote.  I have added three of these to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog:

  1. Christ of the Upward Way;”
  2. Jesus, Friend of Little Children” (1882, for the Baptist Psalms and Hymns for School and Home); and
  3. Now in the Days of Youth” (debuted in Worship and Song, 1913, yet existed for years before that).

Hymntime.com also provides the words to two other hymns:

  1. God is With Us” (1896); and
  2. Stand Fast for Christ Thy Saviour!” (1913).

Mathams was involved in the Sailors’ Society (1818), an ecumenical ministry to seafarers.  This made sense, due to his maritime past.  In fact, he founded the Ladies’ Guild thereof.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 24, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS A KEMPIS, SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN BOSTE, GEORGE SWALLOWELL, AND JOHN INGRAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF JOHN NEWTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Walter John Mathams and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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One response to “Feast of Walter John Mathams (October 30)

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  1. Pingback: Walter John Mathams | GATHERED PRAYERS

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