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Liturgy: Building


From the Park Street Unitarian Church, Hull, SERVICE OF DEDICATION AND OPENING CEREMONY, 17 September 1977 3 pm.

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Thy house shall be a house of prayer for all people; and in this place wilt Thou give peace.

Surely, the Lord is in this place. This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

With reverence and gratitude let us remember that it is from the fatherly hand of God that we receive the gifts which gladden our days. Let us look upward from the multitude of the blessings we enjoy to the source from whence they flow, and adore the Eternal Goodness which makes our lives so rich. As we come to dedicate this house which we have built, let us lift up our hearts unto the Lord and bless his holy name; and may our praises and our prayers help to make our whole life an offering more pure and acceptable in his sight.

HYMN: Tune - Winchester New

Unto Thy temple, Lord, we come
With thankful hearts to worship Thee;
And pray that this may be our home
Until we touch eternity.

The common home of rich and poor,
Of bond and free, and great and small,
Large as Thy love for evermore,
And warm and bright and good to all.

And dwell Thou with us in this place,
Thou and Thy Christ, to guide and bless;
Here make the well-springs of Thy grace
Like fountains in the wilderness.

May Thy whole truth be spoken here;
Thy gospel light for ever shine;
Thy perfect love cast out all fear,
And human life become divine.



HYMN: Tune - St. Magnus

O Thou, whose own vast temple stands
Built over earth and seal
Accept the walls that human hands
Have raised to worship Thee.

Lord, from Thine inmost glory send,
Within these courts to bide,
The peace that dwelleth without end
Serenely by Thy side.

May erring minds that worship here
Be taught the better way;
And they who mourn, and they who fear,
Be strengthened as they pray.

May faith grow firm, and love grow warm,
And pure devotion rise,
While round these hallowed walls the storm
Of earth-born passion dies.

The representative on behalf of the Architects and Builders presents the keys to the President, saying:

Sir, I declare that this Church has been well and truly built and into your hands I give the keys thereof.

The President receives the keys, saying:

Sir, on behalf of the Unitarian Church of Hull, I gratefully acknowledge the integrity of workmanship and the fidelity with which your commission has been fulfilled; and, in accepting these keys, I now declare this Church to be open for the worship of God and the service of man. Peace be to all who enter herein.

And now, for as much as God has inspired this congregation with faith and courage to rebuild their Church, that througti it divine ideals and aims might be perpetuated, I call upon them to seek God's blessing and to join with me in this act of dedication.

Let us lift up our hearts with joy and thanksgiving as we dedicate this house which we have built.

We dedicate it as the home of our household of faith to holy, happy uses, and to the common service of the community in which we live.

They brought young children to Jesus, and he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them and blessed them.

Therefore we dedicate this house as the meeting place of children, with their laughter and their song, that it may be to them an open door to the joy of religion.

Our fathers have told us of God's mighty works and of his wonderful ways with the children of men, and have bidden us to make them known to the generations that are to come.

Therefore we dedicate this house to the youths and maidens who shall here search out the high and holy things of the Spirit and the ways of wise and generous service.

Inasmuch as faith, if it have not works, is dead, let us show forth our faith by our works, in diligence, brotherly kindness, love, that we be not unprofitable servants.

Therefore we dedicate this house to men and women united here in labour for the welfare of this comunity and for the advancement of the kingdom of God on earth.

Beautiful is the wisdom of the aged, and much experience is the blessing of those who have walked many years in the way of righteousness.

Therefore we dedicate this house to those who, through a long life, have borne witness to the abiding love of God, whose presence is a benediction of peace.

In our rejoicing let us not forget those who have gone before us from this place, whose labour and sacrifice have laid a foundation for us to build upon.

Others have laboured, and we have entered into the fruit of their labours.

We meet here as children of one Father, old and young, great and small, without respect to persons, to break bread together, to take counsel, to share our joys, to enlarge our knowledge.

Therefore we dedicate this house to our life in common as disciples of Jesus Christ, and not this house only, but ourselves also, so that we may be united in the bond of peace, in the love of all things good and true, in the worship of God and the service of mankind.

HYMN: Tune - St. Peter

One holy Church of God appears
Through every age and race,
Unwasted by the lapse of years,
Unchanged by changing place.

From oldest time, on farthest shores,
Beneath the pine or palm,
One Unseen Presence she adores,
With silence or with psalm.

Her priests are all God's faithful sons
To serve the world raised up;
The pure in heart her baptized ones,
Love her communion-cup.

The truth is her prophetic gift,
The soul her sacred page;
And feet on mercy's errand swift
Do make tier pilgrimage.

O living Church, thine errand speed,
Fulfil thy task sublime;
With bread of life earth's hunger feed;
Redeem the evil time!

The President unveils the plaque commemorating the opening and dedication of the new Church.

HYMN: Tune - Nun Danket

Now thank we all our God,
With heart, and hands, and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom His world rejoices;
Who from our mother's arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours to-day.

Oh, may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills,
In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given;
We lift our hearts to Him
Who reigns in highest heaven:
The One Eternal God,
Whom earth and heaven adore
Who was of old, is now
And shall be evermore.


Service of Dedication and Opening Ceremony performed by the Rev. Peter Godfrey, President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches; the Service conducted by the Rev. Ernest Penn, Minister. The Victorian gothic church was demolished on the site in 1976.


Peter Godfrey, the late Ernest Penn; Adrian Worsfold (webpage)

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