Archive for the ‘Alfred Rooker’ Tag

Feast of Alfred Rooker and Elizabeth Rooker Parson (May 27)   2 comments

08046v

Above:  College Green, Bristol England, 1890-1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08046

Image from the Views of the British Isles Collection, 1905, Detroit Publishing Company

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ALFRED ROOKER (APRIL 1, 1814-MAY 27, 1875)

English Congregationalist Philanthropist and Hymn Writer

Brother of

ELIZABETH ROOKER PARSON (JUNE 5, 1812-1873)

English Congregationalist Hymn Writer

The Reverend William Rooker, an English Congregationalist minister, served as pastor of the Brook Street Independent Church (now Tavistock United Reformed Church), Tavistock, from 1796 to 1845.  There, in Tavistock, he and his wife, Elizabeth, on June 5, 1812, their daughter, Elizabeth, entered the world.  Their son, Alfred, followed on April 1, 1814.

Elizabeth Rooker (the younger) led the Willing Class, a group of young men and women at her father’s church who met on Sunday nights.  She also wrote eighteen hymns for that class.  One of them was:

Jesus, we love to meet

on this, thy holy day;

we worship round the seat

on this, thy holy day.

O tender heavenly Friend,

to thee our prayers ascend;

over our spirits end

on this, thy holy day.

—–

We dare not trifle now

on this, thy holy day;

in silent awe we bow,

on this, thy holy day.

Check every wandering thought,

and let us all be taught

to serve thee as we ought

on this, thy holy day.

—–

We listen to thy word

on this, thy holy day;

bless all that we have heard

on this, thy holy day.

Go with us when we part,

and to each longing heart

your saving grace impart

on this, thy holy day.

The author of that hymn married the Reverend Edgecombe Parson in 1844.  She died in 1873, at Plymouth.

08788vAbove:  Saltash Bridge, Plymouth, England, 1890-1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08788

Image from the Views of the British Isles Collection, 1905, Detroit Publishing Company

Alfred Rooker became a solicitor and practiced in Plymouth.  He, a respected member of the community, was active in civic affairs.  He became an alderman in 1848 and the mayor a few years later.  Rooker, a member of the Sherwell Congregational Church (now Sherwell United Reformed Church) in town, opposed slavery, wrote about English church history (The Precursors of the English Reformation–1853), and wrote about literature (The Literature and Literary Men of Plymouth–1845).  He ran for Parliament (for the Liberal Party) in 1871, losing.  Rooker was the Mayor again in 1874, when he served as Chairman of the Board of the Guildhall School.  He died in Beirut, Syria (now Lebanon), during a tour of the Holy Land in 1875.  Admirers erected and sponsored a statue of him in the Guildhall Square.

Rooker wrote the following in 1867:

O be with us, gracious Father,

While before Thy feet we bow;

Let the angel of Thy presence

Hover o’er Thy temple now.

—–

Here are hearts that Thou canst soften,

Earthly dross to purge away;

Darkened minds, on which Thy Spirit

Yet may pour celestial day.

—–

From the world’s entrancing vision,

From the spirit’s sullen night,

From the tempter’s dark dominion,

Free us, by thy saving might.

—–

Let Thy Spirit’s glad communion

Waken thoughts of peace and love,

And prepare us for Thy presence

In the nobler courts above,

—–

There to join in perfect worship,

There to swell the angels’ song,

And in higher, sweeter measure,

Earth’s imperfect praise prolong.

I am glad to add this brother-sister team to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 30, 2013 COMMON ERA

HOLY SATURDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CLIMACUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT INNOCENT OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

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For Further Reading:

http://www.tavistocktownhall.co.uk/Core/Tavistock-TH/Pages/portraits_in_the_hall-842.aspx

http://www.plymouthdata.info/Who%20Was%20Who-Rooker%20Alfred%201814%201875.htm

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Alfred Rooker, Elizabeth Rooker Parson,

and all who with words have filled us with desire and love for you,

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728