Feast of John Hampden Gurney (March 8)   1 comment

St. Marylebone, London, 1834

Above:  Map of St. Marylebone, London, England, 1834

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN HAMPDEN GURNEY (AUGUST 15, 1802-MARCH 8, 1862)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

John Hampden Gurney came from a wealthy family.  His father, Sir John Gurney, was a baron in the court of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Our saint, a member of the British establishment, studied at Trinity College, Cambridge (A.B., 1824; A.M., 1827) and took Anglican Holy Orders (1824).  The native of London served as the Curate of Lutterworth, Leicestershire (1824-1844), where he also worked as the chaplain of the poor-law union.  Helping the downtrodden was one of Gurney’s passions; another was the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK).  From 1847 to 1857 he was the Rector of St. Mary’s, Bryanstone, Marylebone, London.  Then, from 1857 to 1862, Gurney was Prebendary of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Our saint wrote hymns and edited hymnals.  He also wrote on the subject of hymnody.  His published works in the field were:

  1. A Collection of Hymns for Public Worship, a.k.a. the Lutterworth Collection (1838), with 300 hymns;
  2. Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship, Selected for some of the Churches of Marylebone, a.k.a. the Marylebone Collection (1851), with 300 hymns; and
  3. Church Psalmody:  Hints for the Improvement of a Collection of Hymns Published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1853).

I have added some of Gurney’s hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Our saint also published collections of sermons.  I found the following volumes at archive.org:

  1. Sermons Chiefly on Old Testament Histories; from Texts in the Sunday Lessons (1856);
  2. Sermons Preached in St. Mary’s, Marylebone:  Third Series (1860); and
  3. Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles (1862).

Other published works by Gurney included the following:

  1. The New Poor Law the Poor Man’s Friend; A Plain Address to the Labouring Classes Among His Parishioners (1836); and
  2. Historical Sketches; Illustrating Some Important Events and Epochs from A.D. 1400 to A.D. 1546 (1852).

Gurney died in London on March 8, 1862.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 12, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE VISITATION

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Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant John Hampden Gurney,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace grow into the stature of the fullness

of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 23

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-17

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 718

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One response to “Feast of John Hampden Gurney (March 8)

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