Archive for the ‘Godfrey Thring’ Tag

Feast of Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (May 26)   1 comment

Above:  Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley

Image in the Public Domain

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HARDWICKE DRUMMOND RAWNSLEY (SEPTEMBER 28, 1851-MAY 28, 1920)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

Also known as H. D. Rawnsley

Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Rawnsley left a fine legacy, much of it indirect.  He, born in Shiplake, England, on September 28, 1851, was a son of Canon Drummond Rawnsley, the Vicar of Shiplake.  Rawnsley, Sr., was a friend of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).  Our saint’s godfather was Edward Thring (1821-1887), Headmaster of Uppingham School and brother of Godfrey Thring (1823-1903).  Rawnsley, Jr., studied at Uppingham School then at Baillol College, Oxford (Class of 1874).  He took a special interest in natural science at Oxford.

Rawnsley became a priest in The Church of England.  He, ordained in 1875, was the Curate of St. Barnabas’s Church, Bristol (1875-1877).  While the Vicar of Wray (1877-1883), our saint married Edith Fletcher (d. 1916) in 1878.  From 1883 to 1917, he was the Incumbent of Crosthwaite, near Keswick.  He became the Canon of Carlisle and the Chaplain to the King in 1909.

Rawnsley was active in literary and environmental pursuits.  He wrote biographies and books of poetry.  He also wrote at least seven hymns.  Two of them were “Father, Whose Will is Life and Good” (1922) and “Saviour, Who Didst Healing Give” (1905).  (Our saint was an enthusiastic supporter of medical missionary work.)  Rawnsley also founded and served as the secretary of the National Trust for Places of Historical Interest and Natural Beauty.  He helped to conserve much natural beauty in the Lake District.  One of the other conservationists was Beatrix Potter (1886-1943), who was writing and illustrating The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902).  He encouraged her in various pursuits, including that book.

Rawnsley, retied and widowed, married Eleanor Foster Simpson (d. 1959) in 1918.  Their union was brief.  He, 70 years old, died in Grasmere, England, on May 28, 1920.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 26, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY, ARCHBISHOP

THE FEAST OF HARDWICKE DRUMMOND RAWNSLEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT LAMBERT PÉLOGUIN OF VENCE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT PHILIP NERI, THE APOSTLE OF ROME AND THE FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE ORATORY

THE FEAST OF SAINT QUADRATUS THE APOLOGIST, EARLY CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST

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God of creation, we thank you for all that you have made and called good:

Grant that we may rightly serve and conserve the earth,

and live at peace with all of your creatures;

through Jesus Christ, the firstborn of all creation,

in whom you are reconciling the world to yourself.  Amen.

Job 14:7-9

Psalm 104:24-31

Romans 1:20-23

Mark 16:14-15

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 732

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Feast of Godfrey Thring (September 13)   4 comments

08952v

Above:  Wells Cathedral, Between 1890 and 1900

Published by the Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08952

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GODFREY THRING (MARCH 25, 1823-SEPTEMBER 13, 1903)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

The Reverend John Gake Dalton Thring, Rector of Alford, Somerset, England, and his wife, Sarah Jenkyns Thring, had a son, Godfrey Thring, in 1823. A previous son, Edward Thring, had arrived in 1821.

Edward was a remarkable person.  He, ordained by The Church of England in 1846, served as the headmaster of Uppingham School from 1853 to 1887.  He transformed it from a small, rural school into a large, public one.  Edward also encouraged music education, considered one of his duties to be to identify what each student could do well, and wrote Theory and Practice of Teaching (1883) for young teachers.  He was one of the leading English educators of his day.

Both Edward and Godfrey grew up in a household that taught them more of duty than of sentimentality.  John Gale Dalton Thring wanted Godfrey to enter the Royal Army, but Sarah Jenkyns Thring, insisted upon the priesthood for her younger son.  Godfrey obeyed his mother and fulfilled his duties with great care.  He served a few congregations for the first twelve years of his priesthood.  Then, in 1858, the Baillol College, Oxford-educated Godfrey succeeded his father as the Rector of Alford.  He was a rural dean (1867-1876) then the Prebendary of East Harptree at Wells Cathedral (1876-1893).

Our saint made his primary contribution in the realm of hymnody.  He wrote many hymns.  He also compiled three hymnals:

  • Hymns Congregational and Others; Hymns and Verses (1866);
  • Hymns and Sacred Lyrics (1874); and
  • A Church of England Hymn Book Adapted to the Daily Services of the Church Throughout the Year (1880); revised as The Church of England Hymn Book (1882).

Our saint’s 1880/1882 hymnal constituted a protest against the practice of factions within The Church of England publishing their own hymnals, thereby denying adherents of other factions certain hymns.  The 1880/1882 hymnal also established a new, higher literary standard for English hymnals.  It favored quality of words over rampant Victorian sentimentality.

I got the impression from reading the brief biography of our saint in Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody:  A Manual of The Methodist Hymnal, 2d. Ed. (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1937) that McCutchan preferred more sentimentality than did Godfrey Thring.  But there is such a thing as excessive sentimentality.

In a letter Edward Thring told his brother, our saint:

Be sure that no painting, no art work you could have done, by any possibility could have been so powerful for good, or given you the niche you now occupy.  As long as the English language lasts, sundry of your hymns will be read or sung, yea, even to the last day, and many a soul of God’s best creatures thrill with your words.  What more can a man want?  Very likely, if you had all the old heathendom rammed into you, as I had, and all the literary artists slicing and pruning, and had been scissored like me, you would have lost the freshness and simple touch which make you what you are.  No, my boy, I make a tidy schoolmaster and pass into the lives of many a pupil, and you live on the lips of the Church.  So be satisfied.  And what does it matter, if we do the Master’s work?

–Quoted in Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody (1937), 70

Godfrey Thring occupied a fine niche in the Church.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, CONGREGATIONALIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EMMEGAHBOWH, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT FREDERICK OF UTRECHT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR; AND SAINT ODULT OF UTRECHT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST

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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 Godfrey Thring

and all those who with us 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

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