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Eternal Father, strong to save

Every so often a member of our church family chooses their favourite hymn to be sung in the service, and they get to share why it means so much to them. Here's a recent choice from Janet Pollard.

I come from Sark in the Channel Islands. When one lives on a small Island, one depends on the sea Everything comes by boat; the mail, groceries, oil for the power station, and there are quite a few fishermen on the island.

If one had to go to hospital urgently, they had to send for the ambulance boat.

Every year there is a service down on the harbour to thank God for all seamen and ask for their protection, the life boat comes and usually the Salvation Army band.

While the others hymns change, 'Eternal Father' is always sung, every time I hear it, I think of the sea service. This is why I chose this hymn from my many favourites.

Photo of Sea Service on Sark, supplied by Janet Pollard

Eternal Father, by William Whiting

1 Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm does bind the restless wave, Who bids the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; O hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea.

2 O Saviour, whose almighty word, The winds and waves submissive heard, Who walked upon the foaming deep, And calm amid the rage did sleep; O hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea.

3 O Holy Spirit, who did brood, Upon the waters dark and rude, And bid their angry tumult cease, And give for wild confusion peace; O hear us when we cry to Thee For those in peril on the sea.

4 O Trinity of love and pow'r, Your children shield in danger's hour; From rock and tempest, fire, and foe, Protect them where-so-e'er they go; Thus, evermore shall rise to Thee Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

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