A hymn to celebrate the 1400th anniversary of the Diocese of Rochester. Justus (see verse 1 line 5) became its first Bishop in 604AD.

Lord of Good News, as once you came
with wakening touch and kindling flame,
come, risen Christ, we dare to pray,
to Kentish hearts and homes today!
Since Justus, fourteen hundred years
span fruitful peace and battle's fears:
where saints have worshipped, worked and prayed,
still is our living history made.

While kings and priests have come and gone
the prophets' warnings thunder on;
throughout our churches' fragile days
your cross has stirred our shame, our praise.
Where diverse signs and stories meet
in civic square or village street,
your Gospel brings the best of news,
your costly Gift is ours to choose.

From city's edge to shoreline sail,
in constant hum of road or rail,
from castle wall to new estate,
one Lord of all we celebrate.
Where rivers, downland, orchards merge
with sprawling brick or highway verge;
by spire or chimney, field or mere,
Saviour, our thanks shall mark this year.

When landmarks shift and much seems strange
grant us to grasp what needs to change,
while humbly, gladly, trusting still
the Scripture's word, the Spirit's will.
In this rich corner of our land
in you we serve, we speak, we stand:
let seeds of glory here be sown;
through us, your reign of love be known!

Christopher Idle
© Christopher Idle / Jubilate Hymns
DLM
Suggested tune: LAMBERHURST (John Barnard)