Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour

Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour. Frank Houghton* (1894-1972). Some of the church’s most fluent songs have been born in scenes of struggle and hardship; this may be no surprise in view of the ‘stable floor’ events celebrated in this hymn. It is certainly true of much of the verse of Frank Houghton, written during his often dangerous and laborious travels through the rural mountainous areas of West China, as he served with what was then the China Inland Mission, later the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF International). This is the best known of the handful of his poems which have been set as hymns, finalised in Szechwan in 1934; its key ideas had been expressed in the previous...

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