Today I attended the funeral of a friend in Criccieth. I knew Peter through his work in the Ffestiniog Railway. I was also aware of his involvement with the local Coastguard service. What I had not known about was his musicianship and faith.
He was a founder of the Criccieth Family Church, and previously a member of Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Leicester before moving to North Wales, and then Capel Fron in Penrhyndeudraeth. He was a gifted musician and had written some hymns including a small books of 19 which were published before he left Leicester.
The hymns sung at the service were:
- Jesus is King and I will extol Him
- Great is Thy faithfulness
- There is a hope that burns within my heart
- In Christ alone my hope is found
Included as an insert to the order of service was a selection of Peter’s hymns. Being a singer, the following one really struck a chord with me:
Once I was Lost – A Hymn by Peter Hayden
Once I was lost in the darkness of sin,
Guilty and helpless, with no hope within.
Then Jesus came and He burst on my sight,
Flooding my soul with His marvellous light.
And I shall see him
I’ll thank Him for all He’s done
And I shall see Him
The Lamb who the vict’ry has won.
When I shall pass from this world full of sin,
I know that I have a meeting with Him:
There in the skies with my sins all forgiv’n
I shall be with Him for ever in heaven.
Jesus alone is the One I shall see,
Jesus my Saviour who died on the tree.
Then I shall sing with the glorified throng,
Jesus my Saviour – the theme of my song.
Peter wrote of this hymn:
The thought that struck me was that not only was I saved, and promised a place in heaven, but I would actually see the One who had given everything for me. What would I be able to do at the moment except to thank and praise Him! I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to being part of the heavenly choir and orchestra. The sound then will make our best attempts, and our biggest rallies pale into insignificance.
Grant him O Lord rest eternal : and let light perpetual shine upon him.