The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville
In the annals of sublime Christian literature, high on the list is a clergyman who lived from 1593-
* King of Glory, King of Peace, I will love thee …
* Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King …
* Teach me my God and King …
are frequently requested and sung by choirs and congregations throughout the land. The language strikes us today as somewhat archaic and there is frequent repetitions of ‘God’ and ‘King’ together. This latter is probably reminiscent of the concept of the time -
George Herbert came of a prosperous family in Montgomeryshire. His mother was a patroness of the poet John Donne. All his life, Herbert was devoted to music. He came to the favourable notice of King James I. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, and there obtained the post of Public Orator. He briefly became a Member of Parliament, but his greatest contribution to posterity was in his music and his literary works as a clergyman in the Church of England.
In the closing years of his short life, George Herbert devoted himself to the care of his rural community. He wrote a work ‘The Temple’ containing poems of a religious nature, and ‘A Priest to the Temple’ -
Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
From my first entrance in,
Drew near to me, sweetly questioning
If I needed anything.
George Herbert died of consumption at the tender age of 39.
Festival Edition 2014