Thursday, 3 November 2011

Plymouth Brethren Sunday School memories.

On many mornings I wake up with a song on my mind – a song which will be on my lips as I walk out with my dog.

Many of these songs are from Sunday School and Children’s Meetings at Chelsea Gospel Hall on Devon Rd in Bristol U.K.  “Chelsea” was the home of a group of “saints gathered unto the name of the Lord Jesus” a.k.a. “The Plymouth Brethren”.

Although the Brethren (commonly known these days as “Peebs” ) rejected each and every Christian denomination, they often used books of “Choruses”  (simple songs – often based in Scripture) which had been published by the “Children’s Special Service Mission”  - a mostly Church of England organisation.

And it is the CSSM choruses which are often in my mind and on my tongue in the mornings.

There is the one which reads

“Sweeter as the days go by
sweeter as the days go by.
Jesus’ love is sweeter,
richer, fuller, deeper.
sweeter as the days go by”.

All well and good, except that as a five or six year old I did not hear “richer, fuller”.  Instead I heard “Richard Fuller”.  I wondered who he was.

We would sing “Dare to be a Daniel”.  The naughty children (not I, who was a prig at aged seven) would sing “Dare to be a Spaniel”.

Those same naughty children (never I) also messed around with another chorus.

It went

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Sweetest name I know.
Fills my very longing,
Keeps me singing as I go”.

The naughty ones would not sing “Hallelujah”.  Instead they would substitute “Have a banana”.

But even the very pious young jmp would find himself singing “I will make you vicious old men” instead of “I will make you fishers of men”

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